Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First atherosclerosis vaccine: time for the count-down

13.12.2006
Preliminary human safety trials involving human patients could start next year, EVGN scientist says.

The first vaccine against atherosclerosis is not far away in the future, according to Jan Nilsson, professor of Experimental Cardiology at Lunds Universitet in Malmö (Sweden) and EVGN member. Human clinical trials are likely to begin at the end of next year: they will be aimed at verifying the safety of a preparation, still under investigation in a laboratory model, made of antibodies obtained against selected fragments of oxidized Low Density Lipoproteins, or oxLDLs. LDLs are the major component of the “bad cholesterol”: their accumulation in the arterial wall causes inflammation and is a key factor in the onset of atherosclerosis.

The ability of oxidized LDL to trigger an immune response in the body was recognized a decade ago. Studies revealed that these particles can induce an autoimmune response: a response of the body against itself. But they also revealed that the immunization with oxLDL particles reduces the development of atherosclerosis hampering the deposition of atherosclerotic plaques. “Early as they were, these data prompted the scientists to consider vaccination as a feasible option not only for infectious diseases but also for atherosclerosis. And recent evidence confirming the involvement of the immune system in cardiovascular disease has strengthened the idea” says Nilsson, who has a long standing experience in studying atherosclerosis and the immune system.

Setting up a vaccine is not easy: the mechanism of action of the compounds is often unknown, and the reactions in a human being could be different from those observed in a laboratory model. Besides, not all the parts (or epitopes) of an immunogenic molecule trigger the same immune response. “We knew that oxidation alters the external structure of LDLs, but didn’t know which epitope was the most effective. So we tested several fragments (peptides) derived from the protein that stick on the surface of LDLs (apoB100), alone and in combination, to determine their efficacy on atherosclerosis”. What the scientists found was that a single fragment, and not the mix, exerted the strongest effect on the inflammation that surrounds the atherosclerotic plaques. “The injection of this fragment (a procedure called active immunization) triggered the production of antibodies, which determined the reduction of the atherosclerotic lesions up to 70% and the stabilization/regression of the plaques”.

... more about:
»LDL »Nilsson »Vaccine »atherosclerosis »oxLDL

These results induced the scientists to speculate that the direct administration (passive immunization) of an antibody against ApoB100 could be effective as well. So Nilsson and his team developed human antibodies with high affinity for apoB100 fragments, and proved that they can significantly reduce the atherosclerosis in a mouse model.

But what could happen in a human being? The mechanism of action of these antibodies is still unclear, and uncertainties remain on the activation of unwanted inflammatory responses. “We are aware that some points still need to be clarified. However, we expect to obtain the answers within a year, before moving into man” admits Nilsson.

Today, the most common treatment for atherosclerosis are statins. Unfortunately, these drugs do not directly affect oxLDLs, and a high percentage of patients who are treated with statins may still undergo a heart attack or stroke. The research strategy pursued by Nilsson and colleagues could therefore benefit high-risk individuals for whom the conventional treatments do not provide adequate protection.

The European Vascular Genomics Network (EVGN) is the first Network of excellence on cardiovascular disease funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme "Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health" (Contract Number: LSHM-CT-2003-503254).

The Conference is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Laboratoires SERVIER.

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

Further reports about: LDL Nilsson Vaccine atherosclerosis oxLDL

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>