Navigation Links
Link found between immune system and high plasma lipid levels

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found an unsuspected link between the immune system and high plasma lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood) in mice. The finding could lead to new ways to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering elevated lipid levels.

In the April 13, 2007, issue of Science, the research team—led by James C. Lo, an MD, PhD student, in the laboratory of Yang-Xin Fu, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Chicago—suggest that an engineered protein could keep mice, and possibly humans, from developing high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, a key risk factor for coronary heart disease.

"Besides showing a link between the immune system and elevated lipids, this study also opens a new avenue for the study of the close and complex link between elevated blood lipid levels and chronic inflammation as manifest in coronary heart disease, ," said Fu, senior author on the paper. "It reveals a quite unexpected role of hepatic T cells in lipid metabolism."

"Those with inflammatory problems such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel syndrome have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, often associated with elevated lipid levels," added co-author Godfrey Getz, MD, PhD, professor of pathology, biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. "This study may explain why. The next step would be to determine whether we can use this technique to manipulate the immune response and have a favorable impact on lipid metabolism."

Using an assortment of engineered and non-engineered mice, the researchers looked specifically at the role of T cells (white blood cells that play a key role in immunity). They determined that altering the expression level of LIGHT (a specific type of molecule that binds to a receptor site of another cell) and also lymphotoxin (LT) on T cells significantly impacted the cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

When T cells expressing LIGHT were introduced into the mice, lipid levels rose, both when the mice were fed a regular diet, and also when fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. However, if researchers blocked the LIGHT signaling, using an engineered protein (LTbR-Ig), lipid levels were lowered again.

Two organs believed to regulate lipid levels are the liver and the intestine. Researchers looked at the mouse livers ?particularly at the enzyme, hepatic lipase. This enzyme is made in the liver and secreted into the blood where it plays a key role in lipid metabolism. The livers of mice with T cells expressing LIGHT made and secreted much less hepatic lipase ?and consequently, had higher plasma lipid levels.

The authors write: "Our data may help to explain the long time dogma that chronic inflammation is associated with hyperlipidemia, the mechanisms of which have not been well defined. Whether this is an intended and advantageous product of inflammation or untoward consequences of combating pathogens or autoimmunity remains to be determined."


Source:University of Chicago Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. New component of the brakes on nerve regeneration found
2. Strongest proof yet found for prion hypothesis
3. A puzzle piece found in unraveling the wiring of the brain
4. New World founders small in number
5. Norovirus found to cause travelers diarrhea
6. Pair of cancer genes found to drive both cell migration and division
7. Alien woodwasp, threat to US pine trees, found in N.Y.
8. Achilles heel of the herpes virus possibly found
9. Purdue scientists may have found key to halting spinal cord damage
10. Unexpected lock and key mechanism found for the assembly of tumor blood vessels
11. New protein vital for immune response is found in surprise location
Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... service provider, today announced a global partnership that ... convenient way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... Mobility is a key innovation area for financial services, but ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to ... ) , The analysts forecast the ... CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... number of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from ... also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC ... in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and ... and much more. Complete report on ... pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 ... . The Global Cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: