C-reactive protein, already accepted as indicating a risk of heart disease, also participates in the process of atherosclerosis that narrows heart arteries, said a Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) researcher.
In a report that went online in the "rapid track" portion of the website of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, today, Dr. Lawrence Chan, chief of the BCM division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, and members of his laboratory said that when mice genetically prone to develop atherosclerosis also produced a human form of C-reactive protein, they developed larger lesions associated with the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries than did those who did not produce the protein.
"Our study supports the use of C-reactive protein as a marker of risk for heart disease," said Chan. "Not only that, but it identifies at least one mechanism by which the protein contributes to the development of atherosclerosis." He said this is the first time these facts have been demonstrated in living animals.
Anissa Orr | EurekAlert!
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