Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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

New Technique for Studying Cellular Interfaces
The method, used to study cells involved in myelination, provides “a glimpse into the social life of cells” and boosts understanding of myelin diseases such as MS and Krabbe’s leukodystrophy.
Monday, September 21, 2015
E. Coli Can Be Transformed into Antibiotic Factories
Scientists have engineered E.coli to generate new varieties one of the most commonly used antibiotics, Erythromycin.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
A Hybrid Vehicle That Delivers DNA
University at Buffalo researchers are developing new technology to improve DNA vaccines. The new transport system for DNA vaccines could help treat HIV, malaria, HPV and other major illnesses.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Clues to Autoimmune Conditions are Revealed by Genomic Analysis of a Skin Disease
UB researchers’ findings about Pemphigus vulgaris reveal a novel protective mechanism in at-risk individuals who remain healthy.
Monday, September 30, 2013
A Protein's Role in Helping Cells Repair DNA Damage
A new study elucidates the role that a protein called TFIIB plays in supporting the activity of p53, a protein that helps suppress tumors.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Nanotechnology Identifies Peptide "Fingerprint" in both Forms of ALS
A nanospray emitter developed by University at Buffalo chemist has identified a common molecular signature in familial and sporadic forms of ALS.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
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
Breakthrough Flu Vaccine Inhibited by Pre-existing Antibodies
Universal truths – how existing antibodies are sabotaging the most promising new human flu vaccines.
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
NIH Launches Early-Stage Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
Researchers at NIH have begun an early-stage clinical trial of an investigational vaccine designed to protect against yellow fever virus.
New Medication Shows Promise Against Liver Fibrosis in Animal Studies
Liver fibrosis is a gradual scarring of the liver that puts people at risk for progressive liver disease and liver failure.
Raw Eggs Deemed Safe to Eat
A report published today by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) into egg safety has shown a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs.
Monitoring TTX Toxin in Shellfish
In a number of small studies, mussels and oysters from the eastern and northern part of the Oosterschelde in Holland were found to contain tetrodotoxin (TTX).
Gene Terapy for Muscle Wasting Developed
New gene therapy could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.
NIH Begins Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
NIH has initiated an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine to protect against yellow fever.
Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Detecting Alzheimer's with Smell Test
Odour identification test may offer low-cost alternative for predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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!