Tuesday January 21, 2020

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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Representational image. Flickr

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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Stroke Patients At a Risk of Suffering From Heart Attack: Study

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Heart attack
Stroke Patients more likely to have a heart attack or another major cardiovascular event within thirty days of having a stroke. Pixabay

Both women and men are significantly more likely to have a heart attack or another major cardiovascular event, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Stroke, demonstrated for the first time that in people with no underlying heart disease, after a stroke they were more than 20 times more likely than those who didn’t have a stroke (23-fold in women and 25-fold in men) to have a first-in-life major adverse cardiovascular event.

These events include things like heart attack, chest pain, cardiac failure or cardiac death.

This risk dropped after 30 days, but even one year after a stroke, men and women both still had twice the risk of a major cardiac event than those who didn’t have a stroke, according to the study.

“This shows that after taking risk factors into consideration, having experienced a recent stroke was independently associated with the incidence of major adverse cardiac events,” said study researcher Luciano Sposato, Associate Professor at Western University in Canada.

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Stroke Patients may suffer from heart attack, chest pain, cardiac failure or cardiac death. Pixabay

“This leads us to believe that there are underlying mechanisms linked to stroke that may be causing heart disease,” Sposato added.

For the findings, the research team examined ICES data for more than 90,000 adults over the age of 65 in Ontario with no pre-existing clinical diagnosis of heart disease.

The researchers examined the incidence of cardiac events in two groups – a group of just over 20,000 that had a stroke and a group of approximately 70,000 individuals without stroke but with similar vascular risk factors, comorbidities and demographic characteristics.

In a paper published earlier in 2019, Sposato and collaborators used animal models to back up this finding by demonstrating that the brain damage caused by stroke leads to inflammation and scarring in the left atrium of the heart.

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These changes are well-known structural abnormalities for a number of heart diseases such as heart attacks, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.

The researchers hope this information will inform clinical practice and encourage health care providers to watch for cardiovascular symptoms in patients who recently had strokes. (IANS)