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Scientists Discover a New Mechanism to Prevent the Formation of Atherosclerosis

Recently, a research team from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria discovered that APRIL protein can reduce lipid deposition under the arterial endothelium and prevent the formation of atherosclerosis. Related research was published in "Nature", entitled: APRIL limits atherosclerosis by binding to heparan sulfate proteoglycans.
APRIL protein is derived from myeloid cells and stromal cells, and is an important immunomodulatory factor. The researchers knocked out the APRIL gene in mice, or injected neutralizing antibodies to APRIL protein into normal mice, and they could observe the formation of atheromatous plaques under the endothelium of the mice’s arteries. Further studies have shown that APRIL protein can bind to the macromolecule HSPG2 (heparan-sulfate proteoglycans 2, HSPG2) on the arterial intima and slow down the deposition of low-density lipoprotein under the intima. When the protein that promotes the binding of APRIL and HSPG2 was injected into mice, the symptoms of arteriosclerosis in mice were significantly alleviated.
The results of this study indicate that APRIL cytokines play an important role in preventing the formation of atherosclerosis. At the same time, this study provides new ideas for the exploration of atherosclerosis treatment.
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