Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is the most common heart problem in older and small-breed dogs, and the most common cause of heart failure in dogs. As MMVD progresses, the mitral heart valve slowly degenerates, becoming thicker and less flexible until it can no longer close properly. Researchers will look at how lesions or nodules associated with this disease form and develop over time on the heart’s mitral valves. The team specifically will look at how abnormal nodule cells communicate to surrounding normal cells, causing them to transform and increase the size of the nodules. Improving our understanding of how this process works will help researchers find and develop new targeted therapies to slow or stop nodule buildup. As no specific treatments to slow mitral valve degeneration exist, new therapies would dramatically change how we manage this disease.
Grant amount awarded
Vicky Yang, DVM, PhD