Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New look at heart disease may reduce stroke, heart attack

Date:
August 12, 2014
Source:
Universitaet Tübingen
Summary:
A long-overlooked function of vascular smooth muscle cells in atherosclerosis has been identified by researchers. Atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaques in the arteries, leads to myocardial infarction and stroke and is the major cause of death in the Western world. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arteries arising from interactions of modified lipoproteins and various cell types including monocyte-derived macrophages from the blood and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in the vessel wall.

Scientists at the Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry (IFIB) have collaborated with colleagues from the Department of Pharmacy and the Department of Dermatology of the University of Tübingen to identify a long-overlooked function of vascular smooth muscle cells in atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaques in the arteries, leads to myocardial infarction and stroke and is the major cause of death in the Western world. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arteries arising from interactions of modified lipoproteins and various cell types including monocyte-derived macrophages from the blood and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in the vessel wall. "It is unclear, however, how each particular cell type contributes to the development of an atherosclerotic lesion," says Professor Robert Feil, senior author of the study. "One highly controversial issue is the contribution of vascular SMCs to plaque growth."

The IFIB researchers performed lineage tracing experiments in mice, in which they have genetically labeled mature SMCs in the vessel wall of young mice before the onset of the disease and then monitored their fate in older atherosclerotic animals. "Surprisingly, we found that SMCs in the arterial wall can undergo clonal expansion during disease progression and convert into macrophage-like cells that have lost the classical SMC marker, α-smooth muscle actin," says Dr. Susanne Feil, the first author of the publication. "It seems that certain atherosclerotic lesions contain even more SMC-derived macrophages than traditional monocyte-derived macrophages."

These findings indicate that previous studies based on immunostaining of plaque cells for smooth muscle and macrophage markers have vastly underestimated the role of SMCs and overestimated the role of monocyte-derived macrophages in atherosclerosis. Robert Feil notes that the results in the mouse model might also translate to humans. "Targeting SMC-to-macrophage transdifferentiation could be a novel therapeutic strategy to treat atherosclerotic heart disease and perhaps many other diseases with a smooth muscle component."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Feil, B. Fehrenbacher, R. Lukowski, F. Essmann, K. Schulze-Osthoff, M. Schaller, R. Feil. Transdifferentiation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells to Macrophage-Like Cells During Atherogenesis. Circulation Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.304634

Cite This Page:

Universitaet Tübingen. "New look at heart disease may reduce stroke, heart attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812121739.htm>.
Universitaet Tübingen. (2014, August 12). New look at heart disease may reduce stroke, heart attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812121739.htm
Universitaet Tübingen. "New look at heart disease may reduce stroke, heart attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812121739.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. 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