Navigation Links
New driver of atherosclerosis offers potential as therapeutic target

DALLAS June 19, 2014 A new driver of atherosclerosis has been identified by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. This molecule, known as 27HC (27-hydroxycholesterol), has been found to exacerbate the development of the condition, and may prove to be a promising therapeutic target.

Atherosclerosis is characterized by the build-up of lesions (or plaques) formed from lipids, such as cholesterol and fatty acids. Ruptured plaques can partially or completely block blood flow, potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke. A member of a larger family of molecules known as oxysterols, 27HC is produced during the normal breakdown of cholesterol and is known to accumulate in atherosclerotic plaques.

The new study, conducted by a team of UT Southwestern researchers led by senior author Dr. Philip Shaul, sought to identify the impact of 27HC on atherosclerosis. Dr. Shaul is Vice Chair for Research and Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Center for Pulmonary and Vascular Biology at UT Southwestern. The study's findings first-authored by Dr. Michihisa Umetani, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology were recently published in Cell Metabolism.

Using animal models and other strategies, the researchers found that 27HC promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, causing a doubling in the accumulation of lipids in the arterial wall. 27HC achieves this buildup through mechanisms mediated by estrogen receptors, which normally enable the hormone estrogen to protect against the development and progression of atherosclerosis. By blocking estrogen receptors, 27HC prevents the beneficial effects of estrogen and promotes atherosclerosis.

"When 27HC is present, estrogen's protective effects are only observed at very high levels of the hormone," said Dr. Shaul, holder of the Associates First Capital Corporation Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics. "This result may explain why hormone therapy with estrogen does not provide cardiovascular benefit in women with pre-existing atherosclerosis, in which 27HC is abundant in the vascular wall."

Probing further into the underlying mechanisms, the researchers discovered that 27HC triggers inflammation in the arterial wall, a key step in the establishment of atherosclerotic plaques. This detrimental effect was characterized by exaggerated production of molecules that drive inflammation, called cytokines, and enhanced attachment on the arterial wall of immune cells known as macrophages. It is the recruitment of macrophages that then accumulate lipids (such as cholesterol) that triggers the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

"Although statins have had a dramatic impact on cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol, we still need complementary methods to combat atherosclerosis," Dr. Shaul said. "Targeting 27HC, either by lowering the levels of this compound or by inhibiting its actions, could potentially provide a complementary approach to preventing vascular disease."


Contact: Remekca Owens
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. ALK, ROS1 and now NTRK1: Study shows prevalence of new genetic driver in lung cancer
2. Uncovering the drivers of honey bee colony declines and losses
3. Temperature found to be most significant driver of the worlds tallest trees
4. AACR news: K9 osteosarcoma samples identify drivers of metastasis in pediatric bone cancer
5. Drivers of marine biodiversity: Tiny, freeloading clams find the key to evolutionary success
6. Going against the flow: Halting atherosclerosis by targeting micro RNA
7. New insights into how immune system fights atherosclerosis
8. Groundbreaking discovery of mechanism that controls obesity, atherosclerosis
9. iPhone app offers quick and inexpensive melanoma screening
10. Ground breaking technique offers DNA Sat Nav direct to your ancestors home 1,000 years ago
11. Ancient DNA offers clues to how barnyard chickens came to be
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New driver of atherosclerosis offers potential as therapeutic target
(Date:10/12/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Recognition Market by Component (Hardware & Software), Product ... Industry (Travel & Immigration, Military & Defense, & ... report to their offering. ... Market worth 3627.90 Million USD by 2020 ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... LAKE CITY , 8. Oktober 2015 ... TRCK), ein global tätiges Unternehmen des Bereiches ... einem Vertrag mit der Gefängnisbehörde Virginias (Department ... dessen Rahmen elektronische Überwachungsdienste für alle Strafen ... Derek Cassell , Präsident für den ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart ... long- term executive at American Express has been appointed ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ... of the Wocket® smart wallet announces Mr. Stanley ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Cepheid (Nasdaq: ... ending September 30, 2015. --> ... total revenue for the third quarter of 2015 is ... per share is expected to be approximately $(0.32) for ... non-GAAP net loss per share for the third quarter ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Oct. 13, 2015 ... quantitative methodologies at critical decision points throughout the drug ... at QSP Congress Boston 2015 on October 20-22, 2015 ... John Burke , PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of ... drug discovery from early research to clinical trials" on ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , October 13, 2015 ... and development company, has entered into a strategic relationship ... and Paris, France ... --> --> This collaborative arrangement gives ... respected scientific advisory team as well as long established ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Clinovo recently appointed Jeff Parr ... company’s fast growing clinical data solutions business. , Jeff Parr has spent the past ... sizes, including Avery Dennison, Thermo Fisher, and Ab Sciex to name a few. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: