These findings are surprising as when steroids are administered via the lungs there is only minimal absorption outside the respiratory tract. This is the first study to show protective effects of inhaled steroids on the progression of atherosclerosis, report Dr Michio Otsuki and his colleagues of Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine and Miyatake Asthma Clinic, Japan.
It is generally accepted that inflammation plays an important role in the aetiology of atherosclerosis. However, administration of corticosteroids to combat inflammation has the potential to worsen several known coronary risk factors, including hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and hypertriglyceridaemia, and to further impair abnormal glucose tolerance.
On the other hand, steroids may prevent the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis, due to their anti-inflammatory properties. "Steroids exert direct inhibitory effects on the expression of adhesion molecules in vascular endothelial cells such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1, E-selectin, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, all of which are thought to be involved in the early process of atherosclerosis," explains Dr Otsuki. Additionally, ICS activate the endothelial nitric oxide synthase, another mechanism by which they might exert positive effects on the cardiovascular system.
Although concentrations of ICS entering the circulation are very low, they may well have the potential to inhibit atherosclerosis-related inflammation, since this type of inflammation is chronic and moderate.Included in the study were 150 non-hospitalised Japanese asthma patients and 150 controls. The asthma patients had been on ICS for the previous two years. The ICS prescribed were mainly fluticasone, budesonide and ciclesonide.
Subjects' carotid arteries were evaluated by a blinded examiner using high-resolution ultrasound, and parameters such as the intima and media thickness (IMT) were measured. Carotid atherosclerosis was defined as mean IMT ?1.1 mm and/or the presence of a plaque lesion.On ultrasound, 20% of asthma patients were found to have one or more atheromatous plaques in their carotid arteries compared with 29.3% of controls (p=0.06). The carotid IMT, a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis, was significantly lower in asthma patients compared to controls. Atherosclerotic change of the carotid arteries was significantly lower in the asthma patients than in the control subjects (p = 0.03). Fifty-one asthma patients (34%) had confirmed carotid atherosclerosis compared to 69 (46%) in the control group.
After calculating the mean daily ICS dose that each asthma patient had been receiving over the previous two years, the researchers were able to show that the dosage of inhaled corticosteroids inversely correlated with the risk of atherosclerosis.
"These findings confirm that inhaled corticosteroids absorbed into the circulation repress atherosclerosis progression via their anti-inflammatory effects."
"Inhaled corticosteroids possess some unique characteristics such as a higher affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor and stronger anti-inflammatory effects on bronchial epithelial cells. Although inhaled corticosteroids are only minimally absorbed into the systemic circulation, they may exert some direct actions on vessel walls and thereby exhibit anti-atherogenic properties," comments Dr Otsuki.
Title of the original article: "Reduced Carotid Atherosclerosis in Asthmatic Patients Treated with Inhaled Corticosteroids."
Dr. Anka Stegmeier-Petroianu | idw
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy