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Centenary Institute - Medical Research
Centenary Institute - Medical Research

Decreasing atherosclerosis risk

Co-operation between cardiovascular researchers from the University of Zurich with researchers from the ‘Liver Enzymes in Metabolism and Inflammation Program’ at the Centenary Institute have produced a breakthrough in understanding how atherosclerotic plaques (fatty deposits in arteries) form and stabilise.

The researchers showed that mice lacking an enzyme called FAP were healthier and developed lower rates of atherosclerosis. The researchers also discovered that the atherosclerotic plaques that did form in these mice were more stable and therefore less dangerous.

“Drugs that target FAP are being developed for cancer therapy, heart fibrosis, liver fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Metabolic Syndrome complications,” said Head of the Centenary Institute’s ‘Liver Enzymes in Metabolism and Inflammation Program’, Professor Mark Gorrell who collaborated on the research.

“This new discovery is encouraging regarding the safety of those new drugs, and may also help people who are at risk of, or have, coronary plaques,” he said.

The research has been published in the leading international cardiology journal, Cardiovascular Research.

Read the full publication here: https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cvr/cvaa142/5836831

Read more about the Centenary Institute ‘Liver Enzymes in Metabolism and Inflammation Program’ here: https://www.centenary.org.au/cen_program/liver-enzymes-in-metabolism-and-inflammation-program/