Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study redefines how plaques grow in heart disease

Date:
August 11, 2013
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
The growth of deadly plaque inside the walls of arteries may not happen as scientists believed, researchers have found. New research also suggests a new potential target in the treatment of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and death globally.

The growth of deadly plaque inside the walls of arteries may not happen as scientists believed, research from the University of Toronto and Massachusetts General Hospital has found.

Related Articles


The research also suggests a new potential target in the treatment of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and death globally.

The research team found that macrophages, white blood cells that drive atherosclerosis, replicate inside plaques. Moreover, this growth is not reliant on cells outside the plaques called monocytes, as scientists had assumed.

"Until now, the thinking was that inflammatory macrophages arise mainly from the recruitment of their precursors -- monocytes -- from the bloodstream," said Clint Robbins, lead author on the study and an Assistant Professor in U of T's Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, and Immunology. "Our study shows that the accumulation of macrophages also depends on their proliferation locally within the developing plaque."

The journal Nature Medicine published the study results today.

The impact of the research on clinical treatments could be large. Many pharmaceutical companies are pouring resources into potential therapies that can block the recruitment of white blood cells into plaques. But if macrophages self-sustain through local cell division, blocking recruitment may not be the best strategy.

"I think this work will force some major re-evaluations," said Filip Swirski, the study's principal investigator who is a scientist in the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. "People have been thinking of targeting monocyte influx to treat atherosclerosis, but they need to consider macrophage proliferation as an additional or alternative approach, especially in established disease."

That approach might be better than targeting circulating monocytes, since interrupting disease-causing processes within plaques could spare other beneficial immune responses that monocytes control, said Swirski.

As well, it could help improve the current standard of care in treating atherosclerosis: statin therapy. Statins, in addition to lowering blood lipids that contribute to plaque, have anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers are now looking at whether statins might limit the spread of macrophages within plaques.

"Additional targeting of macrophage proliferation may further decrease inflammation in atherosclerosis and prove clinically advantageous," said Robbins, who is also a scientist in the Toronto General Research Institute at University Health Network.

The researchers conducted their study in mice, and they caution that much more research is needed to see how the work will translate to humans. But encouragingly, they found evidence of macrophage growth in plaques from human carotid arteries.

Next, the team will compare macrophage proliferation to monocyte recruitment during different stages of atherosclerosis, and look at whether all macrophages, or only subsets, replicate.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Clinton S Robbins, Ingo Hilgendorf, Georg F Weber, Igor Theurl, Yoshiko Iwamoto, Jose-Luiz Figueiredo, Rostic Gorbatov, Galina K Sukhova, Louisa M S Gerhardt, David Smyth, Caleb C J Zavitz, Eric A Shikatani, Michael Parsons, Nico van Rooijen, Herbert Y Lin, Mansoor Husain, Peter Libby, Matthias Nahrendorf, Ralph Weissleder, Filip K Swirski. Local proliferation dominates lesional macrophage accumulation in atherosclerosis. Nature Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3258

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "New study redefines how plaques grow in heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130811150841.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2013, August 11). New study redefines how plaques grow in heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130811150841.htm
University of Toronto. "New study redefines how plaques grow in heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130811150841.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
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