Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is an inflammatory disease in which the walls of the blood vessels are thickened and become less elastic. It can cause blood clots and other cardiovascular diseases.
It is not known precisely what causes atherosclerosis, but the immune system probably plays an important role. Research scientists suspect that various oxidised forms of what is known as bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), contribute to the development of the disease.
A research team from Karolinska Institutet, in cooperation with Lund University, has now shown that a particular type of naturally occurring antibodies, anti-PC, which are targeted against the lipid portion of the LDL molecule, play an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease. The findings show that individuals who have low levels of anti-PC are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk is particularly high in men who develop stroke, with an almost fourfold increase.
This newly discovered risk factor, low levels of anti-PC, is independent of previously known risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood lipids, diabetes and smoking.
"Our findings suggest that anti-PC can be used as a complement to the traditional risk factors to improve diagnosis and treatment. In addition we are currently developing anti-PC as a vaccine for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease," says Professor Johan Frostegård, who directed the study.
The study is based on data from 349 people who at some time over a 12-year period have suffered a heart attack or stroke and 693 individuals without symptoms of cardiovascular disease. The research has been carried out under the EU consortium CVDIMMUNE, http://www.cvdimmune.com/, which is led by Johan Frostegård at Karolinska Institutet.
"Low levels of IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine - a potential risk marker for ischemic stroke in men." Beatrice Sjöberg, Jun Su, Ingrid Dahlbom, Hans Grönlund, Max Wikström, Bo Hedblad, Göran Berglund, Ulf de Faire and Johan Frostegård. Atherosclerosis 2008, in press, accepted manuscript, available online.
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy