The cells that line the arteries are able to produce C-reactive protein, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the April issue of American Journal of Pathology.
C-reactive protein is a risk marker for heart disease and is known to be produced in the liver, but UC Davis School of Medicine researchers Ishwarlal Jialal and Sridevi Devaraj found that endothelial cells also produce C-reactive protein, a key finding that helps to explain how plaque formation is initiated. This is particularly important because endothelial cells are supposed to protect the arteries from C-reactive protein.
"This is an extremely important finding," says Jialal, professor of pathology and internal medicine and director of the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research at UC Davis Medical Center. "We have convincingly demonstrated in this paper that aortic and coronary artery endothelial cells produce and secrete C-reactive protein. We also showed within the artery, mature white cells, called macrophages, make chemical messengers, cytokines, which enhance the C-reactive protein secretion by endothelial cells at least 10-fold.
Kelly Gastman | EurekAlert!
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Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
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