Cellular fat sensor slows heart disease

A cellular sensor of dietary fats slows the development of lesions that lead to heart disease, a Salk Institute study has found.

The study, which appears in the Oct. 17 edition of Science and is posted on the journal’s web site, uncovers a unique pathway that significantly curbs the development of atherosclerosis – the accumulation of fatty deposits on arterial walls. The pathway could be used to develop drugs to treat heart disease, currently the number one killer of Americans.

Ronald Evans, the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology at the Salk Institute, research fellow Chih-Hao Lee and colleagues found that the regulatory molecule, PPAR-delta (short for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor), plays a powerful part in the body’s inflammatory response to the beginning phases of atherosclerosis.

“Immune cells promote inflammation, which stimulates the transport and absorption of fat that triggers the early stages of heart disease,” Evans said. “Our study uncovered the molecular switch that regulates this process and reveals how the inflammatory response, designed to fend off invading agents, can go awry and encourage atherosclerosis and heart disease.”

The researchers found that the PPAR-delta switch cut heart disease in half. It does this by disrupting a cellular signal that controls the inflammatory response.

Activation of PPAR-delta by a fat-like drug reduces inflammation and discourages the growth of atherosclerotic plaques.

“The lesions that cause atherosclerosis are very complex, and are aggravated,” said Evans. “We believe that PPAR-delta normally acts as a molecular soldier to guard against inflammation and disease. Unfortunately, these good effects are compromised by high fat diets, poor exercise, infections and stress. Chemicals that regulate the activity of PPAR-delta could form the basis of a new drug to reduce atherosclerosis and therefore be a possible therapy for heart disease.”

Heart disease is the number one health threat to Americans; about one million die from some form of heart disease every year. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute supported the researchers’ work. Evans’ collaborators at the Scripps Research Institute include Drs. Linda Curtiss and William Boisvert.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located in La Jolla, Calif., is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and conditions, and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., founded the institute in 1960 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Media Contact

Andrew Porterfield EurekAlert!

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.salk.edu/

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Studies and Analyses

innovations-report maintains a wealth of in-depth studies and analyses from a variety of subject areas including business and finance, medicine and pharmacology, ecology and the environment, energy, communications and media, transportation, work, family and leisure.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Is it one or two species?

The case of the cluster anemones If you dive in the Mediterranean Sea, the cluster anemone is among the most fascinating and magnificent corals you could see. You can find…

In a field where smaller is better, researchers discover the world’s tiniest antibodies

Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK and biopharma company UCB have found a way to produce miniaturised antibodies, opening the way for a potential new class of treatments for…

Researchers create artificial lung to support pre-term babies in distress

An international team led by current and former McMaster University researchers has developed an artificial lung to support pre-term and other newborn babies in respiratory distress. The group has proven…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close