The heart responds to the increased stress caused by chronically raised blood pressure, for example, by thickening its wall muscle. In the late stage of this condition, a risk of heart failure arises. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research have now succeeded in identifying a key molecule in the molecular signalling cascade responsible for this growth. Based on this discovery, they managed to achieve a significant reduction in cardiac wall thickening in animal experiments. In addition, they managed to partly reduce existing thickening of the cardiac wall.