Scientists from the Centenary Institute have made a significant discovery that could lead to new treatments for chronic inflammation-related diseases, including heart diseases.
Published in the journal Circulation Research, the study focused on the movement of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is a critical component of the immune system.
Neutrophils are responsible for responding quickly to injuries or infections and moving from blood vessels to the site of injury, where they initiate inflammation and healing.
However, if neutrophils are retained for a long time at the site of vascular injury, it can result in chronic inflammation and the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In the study, the researchers uncovered the process by which neutrophils detach themselves from blood vessels as they move towards the site of injury.
This process, they believe, could potentially be harnessed to reduce chronic inflammation by preventing neutrophils from moving to certain areas of the body.
The study found that integrins, molecules that help neutrophils stick to the walls of blood vessels to prevent the cells from being carried away by blood flow, play a role in helping the cells detach and move to the site of injury.
However, the researchers did not know precisely how integrins unstick neutrophils from blood vessel walls.
The team says the study discovered that a molecule called protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), secreted by neutrophils, plays a crucial role in helping the cells detach from blood vessels as they move towards the site of injury.
The researchers believe that PDI could be a target for new drugs to treat chronic inflammation in diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.
By designing drugs to inhibit PDI, neutrophils could be prevented from moving around and accumulating at sites of injury or infection, reducing the extent of chronic inflammation.
The research could pave the way for new treatments and management strategies that are able to limit the extent of inflammation, and potentially improve outcomes for individuals with chronic inflammatory and cardiovascular conditions.
How to prevent heart disease
There are several steps you can take to prevent heart disease:
Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.
Maintain a healthy diet: Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in saturated and trans fats.
Control your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. You can control your blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing salt intake, and limiting alcohol consumption.
Manage your cholesterol levels: High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease. You can manage your cholesterol levels by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking medication if prescribed by your doctor.
Don’t smoke: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease. Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to the development of heart disease. Try to manage stress through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
By following these steps, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease and improve your overall health.
It’s also important to see your doctor regularly for check-ups and to discuss any concerns you may have about your heart health.
If you care about inflammation, please read studies about a major cause of artery-damaging inflammation, and scientists find a better way to treat inflammation.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about new way to halt excessive inflammation, and results showing tart cherry could help reduce inflammation.
The study was conducted by Alexander Dupuy et al and published in Circulation Research.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.