Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Collaborative European study finds immune cells which protect against heart disease

06.02.2006


Atherosclerosis, an accumulation of fat and inflammation in arteries, causes myocardial infarction and stroke, two deadly complications. The risk factors for atherosclerosis are well known and include hypercholesterolemia, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure. Protective factors may also be important in atherosclerosis but are poorly understood. A new study published in this month´s issue of Nature Medicine presents the discovery of such a protective mechanism, which could be of great importance for future therapy.

A collaborative effort organized within the European Vascular Genomics Network (EVGN) has identified a subpopulation of T lymphocytes (called natural T regulatory cells, or Treg), which inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Drs. Alain Tedgui and Ziad Mallat of INSERM U689 in Paris and Dr. Goran Hansson of Karolinska Institute´s Center for Molecular Medicine in Stockholm led two of the research teams in the study.

The senior author of the study Dr. Ziad Mallat explains the theory behind the study: “We postulated that in atherosclerosis there is an imbalance between regulatory and pathogenic immunity, and that such a disequilibrium promotes both plaque development and plaque inflammation”.

“We tested our hypothesis in a mouse model of the human disease, explains Mallat. “If these Treg were absent, the animals developed bigger atherosclerotic lesions. But when we injected the Treg cells they could turn off the atherosclerotic process”.



Further support for a controlling role of Treg in atherosclerosis came when the scientists inactivated these cells by injecting antibodies that blocked their activity. “We observed – says Dr. Alain Tedgui, President of EVGN and head of the Paris group – that antibody-treated mice - where the Treg were sort of handcuffed and hence unable to do their job - developed bigger lesions than their control counterparts.”

The scientists went one step further and identified a key molecule which is made by Treg and inhibits atherosclerosis. “Gene technology made it possible for us to turn off a signalling molecule called TGF-beta”, says Dr Goran Hansson. “The Treg cells then lost their protective activity. This tells us that TGF-beta is an important tool by which Treg protect against atherosclerosis.”

Dr Alain Tedgui now sees interesting opportunities for cardiovascular medicine: “Early that it might be, it is reasonable to consider novel kinds of therapies based on regulatory immune cells”.

EVGN is a network of excellence funded through the European Union Research Programme.

Francesca Noceti | alfa
Further information:
http://www.evgnvascularscience.org
http://www.ifom-ieo-campus.it

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New type of photosynthesis discovered
17.06.2018 | Imperial College London

nachricht New ID pictures of conducting polymers discover a surprise ABBA fan
17.06.2018 | University of Warwick

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>