2009 Grant Award: Feline Heart Failure

The International Feline Foundation has awarded its 2009 grant to Dr. Philip Solter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his project entitled “Circulating Forms of B-type Natriuretic Peptide and the Pathogenesis of Feline Heart Failure”. The grant award amount — $9,000.


Heart failure is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in domestic cats. The physiological changes that occur with feline heart failure are poorly understood, which has hampered the development of appropriate treatments and the early screen for the disease. One element of feline heart failure that develops is an apparent lack of response to a major “rescue hormone” called B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) that is normally produced by cardiac muscle cells to prevent the symptoms of congestive heart failure. BNP is produced in very large amounts in cats with the common heart muscular disease, cardiomyopathy, but appears ineffective in alleviating the symptoms of heart failure. Studies in non-feline heart failure of other species suggest that the cause of this may be production of an inactive precursor of BNP, called proBNP, rather than the active peptide. The goal of this project is to determine whether a significant proportion of the total BNP produced in cats with cardiomyopathy is in the form of proBNP, which could hamper the heart’s ability to alleviate the symptoms of heart failure. By so doing, this project could suggest more specific therapeutic interventions for feline heart failure than are currently available. It may also elucidate new screening tests for proBNP that could detect signs of the disease in cats at an earlier stage of the disease than is currently possible.


The 2009 grant was awarded in May 2009. With a one-year project timeline and another three months for drawing conclusions, the final report will be provided to TIFF in August/September, 2010.


Report is pending. It will be loaded as soon as it is available.

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