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Failure to bridle inflammation spurs atherosclerosis
Date:6/18/2008

of the study. "Continued inflammation draws more macrophages (potent immune system cells) to the site of the inflammation. They produce molecules that turn this into a vicious cycle."

Dr. Charles Serhan of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, a key collaborator who first discovered many of the chemical mediators, provided special expertise in understanding the role of the mediators as well as performed analyses that allowed us to measure them accurately, said Chan.

"Resolution is not a passive process," said Chan, who is also the Betty Rutherford Chair for Diabetes Research at BCM. "It is active and produces specific anti-inflammatory mediators that 'cool down' the inflammatory process.

Some natural mediators that 'cool' this inflammation are derived from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are plentiful in fish and are frequently cited for their beneficial effects on the heart. Another kind of mediator is triggered by the anti-inflammation drug aspirin, said Chan.

"The specific chemical mediators that naturally cool down the inflammatory process identified in this study represent a new drug target for anti-atherosclerosis therapy," said Merched.


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Contact: Dipali Pathak
pathak@@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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