Researchers from the University of Sheffield have been successful in identifying a new potential treatment method for cardiovascular disorders. Their research study shows that a protein available in the subset of immune cells can contribute to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. The protein in these cells deposits fats in arteries that ultimately leads to the risk of cardiovascular conditions.
Macrophages, a subset of immune cells, work towards generating these fatty deposits in the arteries. Macrophages can take up surplus cholesterol, turn it into fatty deposits, and dump them in the blood vessels. When this happens in excessive amounts, these deposits mature to form bigger cholesterol-laden cells. These new cells are called foam cells. These cells accumulate to form blockages in the arteries.
The study is now featuring in the Science Advances journal. It shows that the levels of Tribbles-1 (TRIB-1) protein is responsible for fat accumulation. Furthermore, this protein is present in macrophages and controls the amount of cholesterol foam cells can take up.
Discovering New Protein to Reveal Root Causes of Disease
Meanwhile, the research study also shows that higher TRIB1 levels can cause a spike in certain cholesterol uptake receptors. This promotes cardiovascular or arterial disorders. Decreasing TRIB1 levels can help in keeping the disorder in check.
The University of Leicester and the University of Sheffield have come together for this early translational study. Moreover, scientists and researchers from the US and Hungry are also part of this study. Furthermore, the findings suggest that controlling the TRIB1 levels in macrophages can be a viable therapeutic target. They believe that this will certainly help in further enhancing the treatment methods of cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Jessica Johnston is the lead author of this research. She works in the Department of Infection, Immunity, and Cardiovascular Disease (IICD) at the University of Sheffield. She believes the discovery of the influence of TRIB1 in macrophages will certainly help in transforming the therapeutic approach towards cardiovascular diseases.