New discovery offers treatments for heart disease and kidney disease

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Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, despite traditional treatments targeting risk factors like diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

However, a recent study from the University of Michigan has identified a protein called soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) that could be responsible for both atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and kidney disease.

This discovery opens up new possibilities for developing treatments that target suPAR.

Understanding the Role of suPAR

SuPAR is a protein produced by the bone marrow that acts as a regulator for the immune system, functioning as an “immunostat.”

Previous research has identified suPAR as a marker of cardiovascular disease, but this study is the first to demonstrate that high levels of suPAR actually contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

Study Findings and Genetic Analysis

The research team analyzed data from over 5,000 individuals without known heart disease and found that those with elevated suPAR levels were more susceptible to developing atherosclerosis and experiencing cardiovascular events, regardless of their existing risk factors.

Additionally, a genetic study involving 24,000 participants revealed a specific variant in the PLAUR gene, responsible for coding suPAR, which was associated with higher suPAR levels.

Association with Atherosclerosis and Kidney Disease

In further analyses, the team found that the identified genetic variant in PLAUR was linked to atherosclerosis in a large cohort study.

In mouse models with elevated suPAR levels, researchers observed a significant increase in atherosclerotic plaques in the mouse aortas compared to mice with normal suPAR levels.

The study also uncovered suPAR as a contributing factor to kidney disease, a condition affecting a significant proportion of the population.

Potential for New Treatments

The identification of suPAR as a causative factor for both atherosclerosis and kidney disease opens up new possibilities for developing targeted treatments.

Current therapies for atherosclerosis do not impact suPAR levels, making it an important focus for future interventions.

The research team aims to develop treatments that can safely reduce suPAR levels to prevent and treat heart disease, considering its significant impact on global health.

The discovery of suPAR as a protein involved in the development of atherosclerosis and kidney disease provides valuable insights for potential treatments.

By understanding the role of suPAR and its genetic variants, researchers can work towards developing therapies that target suPAR levels to prevent and treat heart disease.

This discovery has the potential to improve the health outcomes of individuals affected by heart disease and kidney disease, addressing two interconnected conditions that significantly impact global health.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease and calcium supplements could harm your heart health.

For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about foods that may prevent the recurrence of kidney stones, and common painkillers that may harm the heart, kidneys, and more.

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