Use of Ephrin A1 To Protect Cardiac Tissue Following Myocardial Infarction Case # 1007

Technology Contact

A. Carlyle Rogers, PhD
Phone: 252-737-1648


 Virag Technology Description




Heart attack or myocardial infarction affects more than 720,000 Americans every year. Since the heart lacks a sufficient regenerative capacity to repair the injury, irreversible cardiomyocyte death occurs, ultimately leading to heart failure. With more than $108.9 billion in costs associated with heart disease compounded by decreased quality of life and longevity, finding mechanisms that can preserve heart cells is imperative for reducing financial costs and improving patient health.


Dr. Jitka Virag and her co-investigators from the Department of Physiology from the Brody School of Medicine have developed a novel method to preserve heart tissue viability following myocardial infarction. Ephrin A1 is delivered to the heart following myocardial infarction. Ephrin A1 delivery preserves heart tissue by reducing infarct size, necrosis, wall thinning and inflammatory cell infiltration.

Uses and Advantages

  • Preserves Heart Function
  • Reduces Adverse Compensatory Hypertrophy
  • Prevents Heart Tissue Necrosis
  • Preserves the Integrity of Heart Muscle Cells
  • Preserves Heart's Ability to Pump Blood
  • Decreased Inflammation

Selected Publications

Jitka A.I. Virag and Robert M. Lust. Circadian Influences on Myocardial Infarction. Frontiers in Physiology, Integrative Physiology. Special topics issue "Mechanistic Underpinnings of Circadian Physiology in Heart Disease", October 30, 2014,  PMID: 25400588

Augustin DuSablon, Susan Kent, Anita Coburn, and Jitka Virag.EphA2-Receptor Deficiency Exacerbates Myocardial Infarction and Reduces Survival in Hyperglycemic Mice. Cardiovascular Diabetology 2014, August 13:114. PMID: 2516650

O'Neal, WT, Griffin, WF, Kent, SD, Faiz, F, Hodges, J, Vuncannon, J, and Virag, JAI. Deletion of the EphA2 receptor exacerbates myocardial injury and the progression of ischemic cardiomyopathy. Frontiers in Physiology, Integrative Physiology 2014 Mar 17, 5: 132. PMID: 24795639


Inventor Profile

Dr. Jitka Virag is an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at East Carolina University.She is currently studying two lines of research: the influence of circadian rhythm genes and the ephrinA/EphA family of receptors tyrosine kinases on modulation of infarct size. Click to learn more...

Press Release

Protein Could Help Save Tissue Following Heart Attack

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