Heart attacks are normally caused by the formation of a blood clot in one of the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. The clot reduces the supply of oxygen, which can very quickly result in irreparable damage to the heart.
The body´s own protection
The body has a natural defence system to prevent blood clots – the fibrinolytic system – which ““sprays““ a special enzyme over the clots to break them down before they manage to obstruct the vessel. However, in order to function properly, this system needs sufficient quantities of the enzyme to be stored in the vessel wall. Unfortunately these stores are often depleted because of hereditary and lifestyle factors, such as high blood pressure, smoking and overweight, which probably increases the risk of a heart attack.
New ways of preventing heart attackResearchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy have been looking at a way to stimulate the clot-dissolving system. The results are promising and open the door to new ways of preventing heart attacks.
“We’re trying to find a medicine that boosts the stores of the enzyme as this probably would help the body to prevent heart attacks,” says Pia Larsson at the Sahlgrenska Academy, who is basing her thesis on the study.
Stimulates enzyme production
Previously tested substances have proved unsuitable, mainly because of their unwanted side-effects. In the present study the Sahlgrenska researchers used HDAC inhibitors, substances new to this particular context, and managed to stimulate production of the relevant enzyme.
“We found that treatment with HDAC inhibitors dramatically increased production of the clot-dissolving enzyme, and that this occurred at far lower concentrations than expected,” says Larsson.
Side-effects well knownThe advantage of HDAC inhibitors is that they are already used in medication for illnesses such as epilepsy and cancer, which means that their pharmacological properties and side-effects are known.
Larsson says that more research is needed before a drug to prevent heart attacks can be launched.
“Our trials have been carried out on cultured cells from the vessel wall and we can’t guarantee that the cells, when present in the body, will behave in exactly the same way. The results must therefore be tested on people before we can draw any firm conclusions.”
The Sahlgrenska researchers are therefore preparing the first in a series of studies on human subjects to further investigate the effect of HDAC inhibitors on the clot-dissolving enzyme.
The thesis, “Regulation of Vascular Endothelial t-PA Expression in Inflammation – Potential Target for Pharmacological Modulation” was defended on 18 November.For more information, please contact: Pia Larsson
Helena Aaberg | idw
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
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.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy