Eileen Tzng, BA, on Exploring Exosome and RNA-based Treatment Methods for Heart Failure


The life science research professional at Stanford University discussed preclinical research she presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023.

“I would say the main implications that I would hope the healthcare community takes away from this is perhaps the number of options that we have to treat patients with heart failure—and that exosomes are a very interesting avenue to go down.”

Despite being a major focus of research in cardiology and a number of approved treatment methods, heart failure remains the leading cause of admissions to hospitals in the United States. As such, there is a continued interest in the development of novel treatment methods for heart failure. Some of the approaches currently under investigation are pioneering unique modalities for this field, such as the use of exosomes and RNA-based therapeutics.

Eileen Tzng, BA, a life science research professional I at Stanford University, and her colleagues are currently investigating several such methods in both in vitro and in vivo preclinical work. Specifically, Tzng and her colleagues evaluated exosomes from induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (iCMs) that were obtained from patients with heart failure, miR20/92/363 (CORE miRNA), and siNotch3 (siRNA), against one another in vitro in iCMs subjected to hypoxia-injury and in vivo in a porcine chronic heart failure model. All told, each of these 3 methods showed more evidence than nontreatment in improving iCM viability in vitro and repairing the porcine myocardium in vivo. Although, the exosome-based approach demonstrated the best outcomes in both settings.

Tzng presented these results at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2023, held November 10-13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In an interview with CGTLive™ held shortly after the conference, Tzng spoke about the unmet needs her team sought to address with this research and the key takeaways of the findings she presented. She also spoke about the challenge of determining the mechanism of action for these potential treatment methods and highlighted an interest in future research comparing the efficacy of autologous exosomes against allogeneic exosomes. Tzng concluded by sharing her gratitude for opportunities for student researchers to present their data at medical conferences like AHA.

1. Tzng E, Raygani S,Inoue H, et al. Targeting Notch3 pathway and using extracellular vesicles from induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes is effective in porcine chronic myocardial injury model. Presented at: AHA Scientific Sessions 2023; November 10-13; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mo1064
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