Did giraffe cardiovascular evolution solve the problem of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction?

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Natterson-Horowitz, Barbara  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6145-9689
Baccouche, Basil M 
Mary, Jennifer 
Shivkumar, Tejas 
Bertelsen, Mads Frost  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9201-7499

The evolved adaptations of other species can be a source of insight for novel biomedical innovation. Limitations of traditional animal models for the study of some pathologies are fueling efforts to find new approaches to biomedical investigation. One emerging approach recognizes the evolved adaptations in other species as possible solutions to human pathology. The giraffe heart, for example, appears resistant to pathology related to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF)-a leading form of hypertension-associated cardiovascular disease in humans. Here, we postulate that the physiological pressure-induced left ventricular thickening in giraffes does not result in the pathological cardiovascular changes observed in humans with hypertension. The mechanisms underlying this cardiovascular adaptation to high blood pressure in the giraffe may be a bioinspired roadmap for preventive and therapeutic strategies for human HFpEF.

cardiovascular, comparative, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, left ventricular hypertrophy, resistance
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Evol Med Public Health
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Oxford University Press (OUP)