Another piece of the complex puzzle of how inflammation is involved in heart attacks and strokes has been discovered by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.
Mi-Kyung Chang, M.D., first author
Joseph Witztum, M.D., and Mi-Kyung Chang, M.D.
Their findings demonstrate that C-reactive protein (CRP) binds to oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL), implicating the interaction of CRP and oxidized LDL as a potential trigger for the cascade of events leading to atherosclerosis. This form of artery disease is characterized by the buildup of fatty deposits and chronic inflammation along the artery wall, eventually leading to heart attack.
Published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of Sept. 9, 2002, the study by the UCSD researchers pinpoints how CRP attaches itself to oxidized LDL, the so-called "bad cholesterol" that accumulates in the artery wall and generates atherosclerotic plaques. LDL is the major cholesterol carrying particles. When they enter the artery wall from the circulation, they are believed to be modified by oxidation. It is this "oxidized LDL" that is thought to be the culprit leading to inflammation and cholesterol accumulation.
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