Saturday October 19, 2019

ApoE: The Protein That Prevents Fractures From Healing in Older People

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found a certain protein that is more prevalent in older people and which prevent fractured bones from healing

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fracture, bone, healing, protein, old people
After a few months of your arm or leg healing, there will be almost no cartilage anymore. And if you were to look at it five years out, there'd be no sign of an injury anymore. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found a certain protein that is more prevalent in older people and which prevent fractured bones from healing.

According to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, the research team confirmed that older people have more Apolipoprotein E or ApoE than younger people.

“When we decreased the protein level, ageing was reversed. Not only there was more bone and healing happened faster, but it was also structurally more sound,” said study senior author Gurpreet Baht, Assistant Professor at the Duke University.

They found that 75-85-year-olds had twice as much ApoE in their bloodstreams as 35-45-year-olds, then found the same was true for 24-month-old mice versus 4-month-old mice, which approximate the same human age ranges.

The researchers wanted to figure out if and how ApoE affects the multi-step process of bone healing.

When you break a bone, your body sends signals through the bloodstream to recruit cells to fix it, said the study.

Some of those recruits, specifically skeletal stem cells, build up cartilage as a temporary scaffolding to hold the fracture together.

fracture, bone, healing, protein, old people
A certain protein that is more prevalent in older people and which prevent fractured bones from healing. Pixabay

At last a different kind of cell eats up the cartilage scaffolds and osteoblasts fill those holes with bone.

“Over time, this cartilage will continue to be resorbed and osteoblasts will continue to deposit new bone.

“After a few months of your arm or leg healing, there will be almost no cartilage anymore. And if you were to look at it five years out, there’d be no sign of an injury anymore,” Baht explained.

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The researchers found that if they added ApoE to a petri dish with skeletal stem cells, fewer cells developed into osteoblasts and were worse at building bones.

Next, the researchers created an intervention by injecting a virus which keeps mice from making ApoE protein.

Circulating ApoE levels dropped by 75 per cent and the healed bones contained one and a half-times more strong, hard bone tissue than bones of untreated mice.

The researchers hope this discovery will lead to new treatments to help people heal after injuries or surgeries. (IANS)

Next Story

Replace Animal Protein in Diet with Crickets, Ants, Cockroaches, Beetles and Other Insects

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has counted more than 1,900 insect species that are edible

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Animal, Protein, Diet
Gabriela Soto prepares insects for lunch, while her husband biologist Federico Paniagua (unseen) promotes the ingestion of a wide variety of insects as a low-cost and nutrient-rich food, in Grecia, Costa Rica, July 13, 2019. VOA

At his home in rural Costa Rica, biologist Federico Paniagua joined his family at the dining table to devour several types of insects that he raised on his farm and whose flavor he compares to potato chips. Animal.

The head of the University of Costa Rica’s Insects Museum decided three years ago to replace animal protein in his diet with crickets, ants, cockroaches, beetles and other insects – and wants to encourage others to do the same.

“Insects are delicious,” he said in an interview at his farm in Sarchi, about 30 miles (50 km) from the capital San Jose.

“You can sit and watch a soap opera, watch the football game, do any activity with a plate full of insects. Eat them one by one, with a glass of soda… they’ll go down well,” said Paniagua.

Animal, Protein, Diet
Biologist Federico Paniagua eats a cricket during lunch while promoting the ingestion of a wide variety of insects as a low-cost and nutrient-rich food, in Grecia, Costa Rica, July 13, 2019. VOA

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has counted more than 1,900 insect species that are edible.

Especially in Asia and in Africa, the tiny creatures are touted as delicacies packed with vitamins, minerals and energy.

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Their proponents also note that bugs emit fewer greenhouse gases and less ammonia than cattle or pigs and require significantly less land and water than cattle.

Paniagua’s wife, Gabriela Soto, prepared their meal by splashing oil in a frying pan, adding the farm-raised insects and topping them off with a dash of salt.

Animal, Protein, Diet
An African cockroach is pictured in the insect farm for human consumption of the biologist Federico Paniagua, as he is promoting the ingestion of a wide variety of insects, as a low-cost and nutrient-rich food in Grecia, Costa Rica, June 22, 2019. VOA

She then brought out several dishes to her young daughter, who reached into a plate with her hands and munched fearlessly, and husband, who suggested a bit of lemon would enhance their flavor.

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“They are going to taste like potato chips… you can eat basically a whole plate of these insects,” Paniagua said. (VOA)