Sunday January 20, 2019

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)

Next Story

Grief Is Bad For The Heart: Study

Bereaved individuals are more susceptible to the negative health effects of poor sleep, the study said.

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inflammation, grief
Why grief is bad for the heart Pixabay

Sleep disturbance among people grieving the recent loss of a spouse may put them at increased risk for cardiovascular illness and death, a study has warned.

Recently widowed people are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, that may lead to increased levels of inflammation in the body.

Higher levels of inflammation may in turn increase risk for heart diseases, showed the findings published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

The study found that the link between sleep disturbances and inflammation was two to three times higher for the bereaved spouses.

sleeping, impairment, inflammation
The researchers found that the link between sleep disturbances and inflammation was two to three times higher for the bereaved spouses.
Pixabay

“The death of a spouse is an acutely stressful event and they have to adapt to living without the support of the spouse,” said Diana Chirinos from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, US.

“Add sleep disturbance to their already stressful situation and you double the stressor. As a result, their immune system is more overactivated,” Chirinos said.

The study included 101 people with an average age of 67. Half were bereaved (identified through obituaries), and the rest were included in a control group.

The researchers compared the self-reported sleep habits of recently widowed people to the control group. Both the groups had sleep disturbances.

heart-rate, inflammation
Higher levels of inflammation may in turn increase risk for heart diseases (IANS)

The researchers found that the link between sleep disturbances and inflammation was two to three times higher for the bereaved spouses.

Also Read: Exposure to Arsenic, Lead May Spike up Risk of Heart Disease

Inflammation was measured by the level of proinflammatory cytokines, which are designed to be short-term fighters of disease but are linked to long-term risk for health problems including cardiovascular disease.

Bereaved individuals are more susceptible to the negative health effects of poor sleep, the study said. (IANS)