Specific protein may increase risk of blood-vessel constriction linked to gum disease

April 18, 2012 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings
Embargoed for: 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET
Abstract 180 – Specific protein may increase risk of blood-vessel constriction linked to gum disease
A protein involved in cellular inflammation may increase the risk of plaque containing blood vessels associated with inflammatory gum disease, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2012 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.
 
The protein, CD36, is found in blood cells, as well as many other cell types. Research has shown that CD36 may increase the harmful effects of “bad cholesterol,” or low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
 
Investigators “knocked out,” or deleted, the gene responsible for CD36 production, then induced plaque in blood vessels by feeding mice a high fat diet. Some animals were also infected with the bacteria associated with gum disease.
 
More fatty plaque accumulation occurred in the blood vessels of the animals that were infected with gum disease. In the animals with the deleted CD36 gene, however, vessels remained free of new plaque even when oral inflammation occurred.
 
Note: Presentation is 5:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
 
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Author disclosures are on the abstracts.
 
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
 
NR12-1058 (ATVB 2012/ Tip Sheet)
 
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For more information, contact Darcy Spitz at Darcy.Spitz@heart.org; (212) 878-5940 or the American Heart Association National Communications office in Dallas at (214) 706-1173. For public inquiries, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721). http://www.heart.org and http://www.strokeassociation.org.