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
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy