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Good Cholesterol may Fail to Protect You against Heart Disease, also increases Inflammatory response of Immune Cells called Macrophages

Lung macrophages ingested disease-causing bacteria upon exposure to high-density lipoprotein (HDL)

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London, November 18, 2016: Although well associated with lowering cardiovascular disease risk high-density lipoprotein (HDL) — known as good cholesterol — may not always be able to protect against heart disease.

A new study has suggested that it increases the inflammatory response of certain immune cells called macrophages.

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This can potentially counteract its well-established anti-inflammatory effect in various other cell types, the study said.

“Good cholesterol’s functions are not as simple as initially thought, and appear to critically depend on the target tissue and cell type,” said Marjo Donners of Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

“In the end, it is the balance between its pro- and anti-inflammatory effects that determines clinical outcome,” Donners added.

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In the study, the researchers found that HDL treatment enhanced inflammation in macrophages, in contrast to its effects in other cell types. Similarly, macrophages taken from mice with elevated HDL levels showed clear signs of inflammation.

This pro-inflammatory effect induced by HDL showed enhanced pathogen protection, the researchers said.

Lung macrophages ingested disease-causing bacteria upon exposure to HDL. On the other hand, mice with low HDL levels were impaired at clearing these bacteria from the lungs.

The results demonstrate that HDL’s pro-inflammatory activity supports the proper functioning of macrophage immune responses.

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According to Donners, these findings suggest that patients with persistent infections or specific immune disorders might benefit from HDL-raising therapies.

The research could also lead to the development of cell-specific therapies that exploit the benefits of HDL-targeted therapies while avoiding the side effects, the researchers noted.

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. (IANS)

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Depression Can Negatively Impact Heart Patients

In another study, the team found that heart attack patients diagnosed with depression were 54 percent more likely to be hospitalised

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Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay

Depression, even when undiagnosed, can have many negative effects on patients with cardiovascular diseases, including poor healthcare experiences and higher health costs, say researchers.

The study found that people at high risk of depression were more than five times more likely to have a poor self-perceived health status and almost four times more likely to be dissatisfied with their healthcare.

The intake of probiotics may prevent depression
Heart diseases can be worsened by Depression. Wikimedia Commons

Patients at high risk of depression had notably worse healthcare-related quality of life. They spent more on overall and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures yearly.

They were more than two times more likely to be hospitalised and have an increased use of the emergency room, said the researchers while presenting the results at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018 in Virginia.

Also Read: Knee pain can trigger depression in elderly

“This could be because people at high risk for depression simply haven’t been diagnosed and treated for depression yet,” said Victor Okunrintemi, a research student at Baptist Health South Florida, a US-based non-profit.

In another study, the team found that heart attack patients diagnosed with depression were 54 per cent more likely to be hospitalised and 43 per cent more likely to have emergency room visits, compared to those not diagnosed with depression.

depression
Depression can be worsen. Wikimedia Commons

“Depression and heart attack often coexist, which has been associated with worse health experiences for these patients,” Okunrintemi said. About one-fifth of cardiovascular disease patients suffer from depression. “While we don’t know which comes first — depression or cardiovascular disease — the consensus is that depression is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease,” Okunrintemi said.

It means that “if you have cardiovascular disease, there is a higher likelihood that you could also have depression, when compared with the risk in the general population”, he added. IANS