Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

How ‘Bad’ Cholesterol Causes Atherosclerosis in Humans: Stem cells play a Key Role

Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Study translates to humans a finding previously shown in lab animals that could lead to new therapy to use with statins or in place of them.

University at Buffalo translational researchers are developing a richer understanding of atherosclerosis in humans, revealing a key role for stem cells that promote inflammation.

The research was published last month in PLOS One. It extends to humans previous findings in lab animals by researchers at Columbia University that revealed that high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol promote atherosclerosis by stimulating production of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC’s).

“Our research opens up a potential new approach to preventing heart attack and stroke, by focusing on interactions between cholesterol and the HSPCs,” says Thomas R. Cimato, MD, PhD, lead author on the PLOS One paper and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

He notes that the finding about the importance of these stem cells in atherosclerosis could lead to the development of a useful therapy in combination with statins, or one that could be used in place of statins in individuals who cannot tolerate them.

The study demonstrated for the first time in humans that high total cholesterol recruits stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, via increases in IL-17, which has been implicated in many chronic inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis. IL-17 boosts levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), which releases stem cells from the bone marrow.

They also found that statins do reduce the levels of HSPCs in the blood but not every subject responded similarly, Cimato says.

“We’ve extrapolated to humans what other scientists previously found in mice about the interactions between LDL cholesterol and these HSPCs,” explains Cimato.

The demonstration that a finding in lab animals is equally relevant in humans is noteworthy, adds Cimato, a researcher in UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC).

“This is especially true with cholesterol studies,” he says, “because mice used for atherosclerosis studies have very low total cholesterol levels at baseline. We feed them very high fat diets in order to study high cholesterol but it isn’t easy to interpret what the levels in mice will mean in humans and you don’t know if extrapolating to humans will be valid.”

Cimato adds that the degree of increased LDL cholesterol in mouse studies is much higher than what is found in patients who come to the hospital with a heart attack or stroke.

“The fact that this connection between stem cells and LDL cholesterol in the blood that was found in mice also turns out to be true in humans is quite remarkable,” he says.

Cimato explains that making the jump from rodents with very high LDL cholesterol to humans required some creative steps, such as the manipulation of the LDL cholesterol levels of subjects through the use of three different kinds of statins.

The study involved monitoring for about a year a dozen people without known coronary artery disease who were on the statins for two-week periods separated by one-month intervals when they were off the drugs.

“We modeled the mechanism of how LDL cholesterol affects stem cell mobilization in humans,” says Cimato.

The UB researchers found that LDL cholesterol modulates the levels of stem cells that form neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages, the primary cell types involved in the formation of plaque and atherosclerosis.

The next step, he says, is to find out if HSPCs, like LDL cholesterol levels, are connected to cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke.

Co-authors with Cimato are Beth A. Palka, senior research support specialist, Jennifer K. Lang, MD, cardiology fellow and Rebeccah F. Young, research scientist, all of the Department of Medicine and UB’s CTRC.

The research was funded by an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Engineered Blood Vessels Function like Native Tissue
Researchers says that blood vessels that have been tissue-engineered from bone marrow adult stem cells may serve as a patient's own source of new blood vessels.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Scientific News
Controlling DNA Repair
Scientists discover that DNA repair outcomes following CRISPR-Cas9 cleaving are non-random and can be harnessed to produce desired effects.
Gene Therapy Via Ultrasound
Research into a gene therapy approach called sonoporation could help combat heart disease and cancer.
Stem Cell Therapy Heals Injured Mouse Brain
A team of researchers has developed a therapeutic technique that dramatically increases the production of nerve cells in mice with stroke-induced brain damage.
Challenging Stem Cell Fate Control
Researchers have found that the fate of stem cells is not only controlled by their local niche, but also by a cell-intrinsic mechanism.
Zika Proteins Responsible for Microcephaly Identified
Researchers have undertaken the first study to examine Zika infection in human neural stem cells from second-trimester fetuses.
Heart Muscle from Stem Cells Aid Cardiovascular Medicine
Researchers discover heart muscle cells from stem cells mirror expression patterns of key genes in donor tissue.
Examining New Hypotheses for Undiagnosed Patients
UnDx Consortium gathers in San Diego to create new paths to identifying currently undiagnosed illnesses.
Novel Therapeutic Approach for Blood Disorders
Gene editing of human blood-forming stem cells mimics a benign genetic condition that helps to overcome sickle cell disease and other blood disorders.
Bone Marrow Transplants Without Using Chemotherapy
Scientists have devised a way to destroy blood stem cells in mice without using chemotherapy or radiotherapy, both of which have toxic side effects.
How Cloud Connectivity Can Combat the Reproducibility Crisis
This infographic explains the reproducibility crisis, and how cloud connectivity can help overcome this problem.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!