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VAP Cholesterol Test Helps In Search For New Heart Disease Drugs
Date:2/16/2009

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"Using the VAP profile, we were able to demonstrate that mutation carriers have extraordinarily low levels (less than 50 percent of normal) of remnant lipoproteins, which are highly atherogenic particles generated during the absorption and clearance of triglycerides derived from dietary fat," Dr. Pollin noted.

Lipid-lowering fibrates actually work in part through decreased APOC3 expression. Other lipid-lowering therapies such as statins, niacin, ezetimibe, fish oil and weight loss have also been associated with decreases in apoC-III protein levels. Dr. Pollin believes the next step is the discovery of new therapies aimed specifically at blocking apoC-III expression, improving lipid profiles and decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Pollin's study was conducted on 809 Old Order Amish individuals as part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine's HAPI Heart Study, which was designed to identify genetic factors in response to short-term interventions related to cardiovascular risk. The GWAS allowed researchers to rapidly scan 500,000 markers in the DNA of the participants to find variations that are associated with triglyceride levels in the blood.

HAPI study participants drank a 782-calorie per m(2) body surface area milkshake and were then monitored for the next six hours with blood tests - including the VAP Test - plus ultrasound tests of the brachial artery to determine how they were reacting to the high-fat meal. Results showed that Amish who were carriers of the gene mutation - only one copy of the APOC3 gene instead of two - would rapidly break down triglycerides, the fat particles in the blood associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Those with the gene abnormality also had lower triglycerides both before and after the fat load and better lipid profiles overall.

"This is a brilliant GWAS st
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SOURCE Atherotech, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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