Scientists discovered a new promising method of preventing arteries blockages and reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks that showed promising results in mice
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death all over the world where atherosclerosis is the most common source of such events. Now a group of researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered a new promising way of preventing artery blockages and reducing such risks of heart attack and strokes. The new method involves boosting a cleaning process that is known to slow down naturally with age.
The researchers for this study focused on a process called as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) where damaged or unnecessary proteins are degraded. However, this process becomes slow with age and results into accumulation of proteins causing age-related diseases. In this study, the researchers noticed that CMA triggered in response to the cellular stress of high-fat diets and in the beginning it slows down the plaque buildup however, with time it becomes inefficient.
Furthermore, the researchers studied role of CMA in the condition in mice as they fed the mice with a diet high in fat for 12 weeks and observed CMA activity in two types of cells that break down in atherosclerosis. This CMA activity seemed to increase in the early phase responding to unhealthy diet stress, however, this CMA activity in those cells seemed to fade out by the 12 week mark. The researchers then engineered mice with greater CMA activity and as they showed better profiles of blood lipid, considerably smaller and lesser built up of severe plaque and very low cholesterol levels compared to control group of mice, after the same time period. However, this mechanism differs in mice and humans, the researchers created compounds of drugs that were promising in ramping CMA activity in human cells, which could lead to a potential atherosclerosis treatment in future.