Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Process that clears cholesterol could reverse major cause of heart attack

Date:
September 9, 2011
Source:
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that an ancient pathway called autophagy also mobilizes and exports cholesterol from cells.

Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) have discovered that an ancient pathway called autophagy also mobilizes and exports cholesterol from cells.

Related Articles


A team led by Yves Marcel, PhD, Director of the HDL Biology Laboratory, UOHI, has shown that autophagy, a pathway preserved during evolution, functions to engulf and digest cholesterol accumulated in artery walls. This process facilitates the removal of cholesterol and may provide an entirely new target to reverse atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attack and stroke.

Cholesterol accumulates in the walls of arteries leading to atherosclerosis, also known as narrowing of arteries and which causes blockages and reduces blood flow to the heart. This often culminates in heart attacks and strokes.

The autophagy pathway, which means self-digestion, developed early in single-cell organisms to allow the clearance of accumulated dysfunctional molecules. "The finding that autophagy also functions to digest and liberate cholesterol from cells and the fact that we know this pathway is regulated offers hope for the development of new drugs that could activate export of cholesterol the walls of arteries," said Marcel.

"There is an urgent need to understand how cholesterol accumulation in arteries can be reversed," said researcher Mireille Ouimet, who was a major contributor to the study.

Details of the research were published online earlier this summer in the journal Cell Metabolism and illustrate how cholesterol buildup itself triggers autophagy, facilitating the release of cholesterol for transport back to the liver for elimination from the body.

It is possible that some patients with CAD have an impaired ability to clear arterial cholesterol by the autophagy pathway, said Marcel.

Marcel's work lends a greater understanding to the underlying biochemical complexities involving cholesterol. Cholesterol is important to cell structure. Problems arise when too much cholesterol is deposited inside the walls of the coronary artery -- the origins of coronary artery disease (CAD). Researchers now are investigating how this process is involved in the development of atherosclerosis, a step that could help experts in cardiovascular medicine understand and find a new way to halt the progression of heart disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mireille Ouimet, Vivian Franklin, Esther Mak, Xianghai Liao, Ira Tabas, YvesL. Marcel. Autophagy Regulates Cholesterol Efflux from Macrophage Foam Cells via Lysosomal Acid Lipase. Cell Metabolism, 2011; 13 (6): 655 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.03.023

Cite This Page:

University of Ottawa Heart Institute. "Process that clears cholesterol could reverse major cause of heart attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124140.htm>.
University of Ottawa Heart Institute. (2011, September 9). Process that clears cholesterol could reverse major cause of heart attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124140.htm
University of Ottawa Heart Institute. "Process that clears cholesterol could reverse major cause of heart attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124140.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins