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Study Sheds Light on Antagonizing Atherosclerosis

by Kathy Jones on  July 6, 2010 at 10:12 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
A study to be published online on July 5th in the Journal of Experimental Medicine says that antibody-producing B cells promote atherosclerosis in mice.

These findings came as a surprise, as prior studies had suggested that B cells help protect against the disease.
 Study Sheds Light on Antagonizing Atherosclerosis
Study Sheds Light on Antagonizing Atherosclerosis
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An international team of researchers, led by Ziad Mallat of the Paris Cardiovascular Research Center and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Cambridge, found that getting rid of B cells protected against atherosclerosis in mice. The protective effect was attributed to the increased production of an immune protein called interleukin-17, which was previously shown to hamper atherosclerosis in mice. Additional work is needed to understand how interleukin-17 interferes with the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

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These findings raise the possibility that B cell-depleting drugs, currently used to treat patients with inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, may also reduce their risk of atherosclerosis.



Source: Eurekalert
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