The role of inflammation on atherosclerosis

May 1, 2012

(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.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study shows stress could be just as unhealthy as junk food

October 16, 2017
We all know that a poor diet is unhealthy, but a new BYU study finds that stress may just as harmful to our bodies as a really bad diet.

Childhood poverty, poor support may drive up pregnant woman's biological age

October 16, 2017
Pregnant women who had low socioeconomic status during childhood and who have poor family social support appear to prematurely age on a cellular level, potentially raising the risk for complications, a new study has found.

Blood vessel 'master gene' discovery could lead to treatments for liver disease

October 16, 2017
Scientists have identified a key gene in blood vessels which could provide a new way to assess and potentially treat liver disease.

Chronic inflammation plays critical role in sustained delivery of new muscular dystrophy therapy

October 16, 2017
Macrophages, a type of white blood cell involved in inflammation, readily take up a newly approved medication for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and promote its sustained delivery to regenerating muscle fibers long after ...

Worms reveal secrets of aging: Researchers discover a conserved pathway that controls aging

October 13, 2017
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Health System have identified a new molecular pathway that controls lifespan and healthspan in worms and mammals. In a Nature Communications ...

New study demonstrates importance of studying sleep and eating in tandem

October 13, 2017
A new study from scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) offers important insights into possible links between sleep and hunger—and the benefits of studying the two in tandem. A related ...

0 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.