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.
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
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...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences