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 The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>