RECONNECT – Renal connection to microvascular disease and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Heart failure (HF) is a major health care problem with high mortality. Although advances have been made in treatment of HF patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF), this is not true for HF patients with preserved EF (HFpEF).

RECONNECT is funded by CVON

Connection between kidney function and Heart Failure
Our consortium demonstrated that impaired kidney function is a strong risk factor for mortality in HFpEF. However, the mechanisms by which chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its systemic consequences aggravate HFpEF are poorly understood. Recent insights indicate a central role for the microvasculature in HFpEF aetiology, and a causal relation between CKD and microvascular dysfunction.

RECONNECT work plan
This consortium will test the hypothesis that impaired kidney function and its systemic consequences adversely impact the coronary microvasculature, modifying pathophysiology and course of HFpEF. RECONNECT will bring together existing cohorts with >1500 patients in different stages of HFpEF with and without CKD. By combining basic epidemiology with mechanistic ex-vivo studies we will evaluate (pre-defined and novel) renal drivers of HFpEF, and elucidate the mechanisms that contribute to microvascular dysfunction and inflammatory-microvascular-cardiac cell crosstalk, using state-of-the-art functionomics, metabolomics and epigenetics.

RECONNECT will study the mechanism and evaluate drug targets of HFpEF in unique in-vivo models of CKD-HFpEF, evaluate novel diagnostic and prognostic renal markers for HFpEF and design a strategy for targeted clinical intervention, prioritizing renal drivers in relation to patient risk profile to provide a basis for future large scale intervention trials.

This project will enhance our mechanistic insight in the renal drivers of HFpEF, allowing new personalized therapeutic solutions for HFpEF patients.

Investing in young talent
Young research talents are the cornerstones of any successful research project and the driving force of innovation. RECONNECT invests in young talents and will offer a talent program that will include master-class courses to stimulate career development and entrepreneurship. In addition, RECONNECT will provide multiple funding opportunities to i.a. stimulate international exchange with high profile research groups, and to encourage the development of novel innovative concepts that translate our new patho-physiological findings towards clinical applications that directly benefit the patients (See From bench to bed-side).

The international connection
Our ambition is to expand our cooperation beyond our national boundaries. Already, the RECONNECT meta-cohort encompasses international patient cohorts of cardiovascular and nephrology studies that are derived from EU collaboration (PARAMOUNT, FP7-MEDIA, and FP7-BIOSTAT-CHF).
In addition, all RECONNECT PIs have solid leadership roles in EU consortia and cohorts (FP7-BIOSTAT-CHF; FP7-MEDIA; FP7-STELLAR; FP7-PRIORITY; EURECAM, and ICBP) and have access to European Uremic Toxin (EUTox) working group for research support.

Collaborations with international initiatives to join forces with our consortium are more than welcome and are encouraged to contact us.