The role of inflammation on atherosclerosis

(Medical Xpress) -- European scientists dig into atherosclerotic plaque formation processes to investigate the part played by inflammation and vascular wall remodelling.

Cardiovascular diseases remain a serious health problem necessitating an understanding of the underlying mechanisms and the development of novel diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic strategies. Atherosclerosis is caused by a thickening of the capillary walls due to accumulation of lipids such as cholesterol.

Accumulating evidence indicates that inflammation plays a central role in atherosclerosis. To further delineate the causes of atherosclerosis, the EU-funded Atheroremo project has brought together scientists from an array of disciplines.

Project partners have identified some previously unknown involved in vascular inflammation. Their discovery of a novel role of the Streptococcus mitis in atherosclerosis demonstrates that infection can act as a potential initiator of disease. By dissecting the atherosclerotic plaque, researchers have noticed that expression of inflammatory interferons induces changes in the lining the arteries inducing vascular remodelling. A further intriguing discovery has been the involvement of anti-lipoprotein antibodies in atherosclerosis.

Additionally, the consortium has tested a number of novel treatments including montelukast – a compound used in asthma medication – to prevent arterial wall remodelling. Various anti-inflammatory compounds are currently being tried as potential therapeutic strategies.

The Atheroremo project has also joined a large clinical analysis study of patient genetics to discover several new biomarkers for atherosclerosis risk. These novel predictive lipid molecules will form the basis for patient risk assessment.

Overall, the study results to date provide significant information on the inflammatory mechanisms governing atherosclerotic . This knowledge is expected to have serious implications in the diagnosis and therapy of atherosclerosis patients.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nicotinic acid blocks immune cells in atherosclerosis

Feb 07, 2011

Nearly all cardiac infarctions and around half of all strokes are caused by atherosclerosis. An early treatment of atherosclerosis is therefore crucial to preventing cardiovascular diseases. Stefan Offermanns’ ...

Inflammation worsens danger due to atherosclerosis

Jan 22, 2009

Current research suggests that inflammation increases the risk of plaque rupture in atherosclerosis. The related report by Ovchinnikova et al, "T cell activation leads to reduced collagen maturation in atherosclerotic plaques ...

Body's bacteria affect atherosclerosis

Oct 18, 2010

New findings suggesting that bacteria in the mouth and/or intestine can affect the the outcome pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and lead to new treatment strategies, reveals research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Recommended for you

Quality control for adult stem cell treatment

7 minutes ago

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected ...

A gene for brain size only found in humans

2 hours ago

About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have one important difference: The brain of humans is three times as big as the chimpanzee ...

Experts warn of stem cell underuse

8 hours ago

Since the first experimental bone marrow transplant over 50 years ago, more than one million hematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCT) have been performed in 75 countries, according to new research charting the remarkable ...

Longer needles recommended for epinephrine autoinjectors

20 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Given the increasing epidemic of obesity, epinephrine autoinjectors (EAIs) for anaphylaxis require longer needles to ensure intramuscular injection, according to a study published online Feb. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.