Scientists at York University have found that beta blockers may alter gene expression.

“We discovered that beta blockers largely reverse the pathological pattern of gene expression observed in heart failure,” said Faculty of Science Professor John McDermott, who led the research, along with York U collaborators Professor Gary Sweeney and Professor Jorg Grigull. “This could mean that the reversal or suppression of pathological gene expression by beta blockers is somehow protective against heart failure, but it’s something we would need to look into further to understand how individual genes function in the heart.”

Interestingly, the study also found that some genes associated with the immune system were dysregulated in heart failure, supporting recent research that has suggested the immune system and inflammation are involved in heart disease.