Medindia
Advertisement

Atherosclerosis Risk may be Cut by Targeting Fatty Acids in Immune Cells

by Kathy Jones on July 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM

 Atherosclerosis Risk may be Cut by Targeting Fatty Acids in Immune Cells
A way to significantly reduce atherosclerosis in mice without lowering cholesterol levels or eliminating other obesity-related problems has been found by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Atherosclerosis is the process through which fatty substances, such as cholesterol and cellular waste products accumulate in the lining of arteries.
Advertisement

Those buildups, called plaques, reduce blood flow through the artery and can contribute to heart attack, stroke and even gangrene. It is common in individuals with obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

In the study, researchers inhibited atherosclerosis in mice by interfering with production of a substance called fatty acid synthase.

This enzyme converts dietary sugars into fatty acids in the liver, where it plays an important role in energy metabolism.
Advertisement

But fatty acids also are involved in atherosclerosis.

"The plaques that clog arteries contain large amounts of fatty acids. We engineered mice that are unable to make fatty acid synthase in one of the major cell types that contribute to plaque formation. On a standard Western diet high in fat, the mice had less atherosclerosis than their normal littermates," said senior investigator Dr. Clay F. Semenkovich.

Animals can't survive without fatty acid synthase, so mice in this study were able to make the substance in most of their tissues.

They couldn't manufacture it, however, in macrophages, a type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills invading microorganisms, removes dead cells from the body and stimulates the action of other immune cells.

These mouse experiments suggest targeting fatty acid synthase in macrophages may provide a potential treatment strategy for humans.

The researchers identified factors in the fatty acid pathway that seem to be capable of preventing plaques from blocking arteries in mice.

He says those substances - LXR-alpha and ABCA1 - eventually may become drug targets.

"It may be possible, for example, to take macrophages out of humans, inhibit fatty acid synthase in those cells, and then infuse the macrophages back into the same personFrom what we've observed in mice, we would hypothesize that approach might prevent or interfere with plaque buildup in people," he said.

Inhibiting fatty acid synthase in macrophages may not keep blood vessels clean forever, according to Semenkovich, but he says it could lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes while people are making lifestyle changes in order to lose weight, gain control of blood sugar levels or lower triglycerides and cholesterol.

"This discovery allows us to separate atherosclerosis from associated conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol," he said.

The study has been published in the issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Lower Respiratory Tract Infections Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
Type 2 Diabetes can be Controlled by Unripen Green Jackfruit Flour
Covid Pandemic: How Parents can Help Kids Deal with Back-to-School Anxiety
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cholesterol Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Heart Attack Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Myasthenia Gravis Traumatizing Trans Fats Atherosclerosis Top Beauty Foods to Look Younger and Glowing Aortic Dissection Renal Artery Stenosis 

Recommended Reading
Diet, Lifestyle and Heart Disease
The correlation between diet, lifestyle and heart disease. The importance of balanced diet life ......
Congenital Heart Disease
Heart diseases that are present at birth are called " Congenital heart diseases"....
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to ......
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the ......
Aortic Dissection
Aortic dissection refers to a serious condition where there is a tear in the wall of a major artery ...
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the arteries become hard and narrow, leading to restricted b...
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is the commonest disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autoimmune myasthenia gra...
Renal Artery Stenosis
Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the narrowing of one or both arteries carrying blood to the kidneys....
Top Beauty Foods to Look Younger and Glowing
Eating the right foods will enhance your beauty inside out. So, eliminate processed foods, refined s...
Traumatizing Trans Fats
Artificial trans fats are created when vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated to form "trans" uns...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use