Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 183

These sheep developed proteinuria, as well as tissue damage in
kidneys and placentas, and were treated with A1M infusion. The
A1M infusion indeed inhibited the symptoms and thus could
mitigate the disease. The researchers are now studying more
animal models of pre-eclampsia and will proceed with clinical
trials in human beings.
Prevention of atherosclerosis with A1M
Atherosclerosis is a disease which is probably the result of many
factors that lead to plaque formation in the arteries, i.e. blood
vessels. Plaque are made up of oxidised blood fat particles
engulfed by white blood cells that stick to the inside walls of the
arteries. The blood fat particles, called low density lipoproteins
(LDL), normally function as transporters of fat and cholesterol in
blood. The plaque hardens with time and narrows the blood
vessels, which obstructs the blood flow and can eventually
completely occlude arteries. Coronary heart disease, which is the
most common cause of death in the Western world, is actually a
result of atherosclerosis and obstruction/occlusion of the arteries
that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The causes of
atherosclerosis are not completely known, but it is believed that
oxidation of blood fat particles plays an important role in the
development of plaque. Free radicals are known to cause such
blood fat oxidation. Thus, the lifelong production of free radical
waste products that are not completely cleaned out leads to a
slow build-up of plaque and atherosclerosis.
A new discovery of the research group in Lund shows that A1M
actually can prevent the oxidation of blood fats (Fig. 2). A1M also
reverses the oxidation lesions on the LDL particles after their
formation. These laboratory experiments therefore suggest that
one of the physiological roles of A1M is to keep our blood vessels
free from plaque as long as possible. This discovery may be key to
our understanding of atherosclerosis and its possible prevention
and treatment. In the future, A1M infusions may be one way to
slow down atherosclerosis and even repair atherosclerotic arteries.
Lund University researchers are now trying to develop this idea by
more laboratory experiments and studies with mouse
‘atherosclerosis models’.
BoÅkerström
Professor
Division of Infection Medicine
Lund University
tel :
+46 462228578
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H E A L T H : D I S E A S E R E S E A R C H
Fig. 2 Cartoon showing how A1M is thought to stop atherosclerosis as described in Cederlund
et al., Front Physiol
6 (2015), article 11. White blood
cells produce free radicals and other toxic substances that oxidise (yellow colour) blood lipid particles. This leads to plaque formation (lower right),
the first step of atherosclerosis. A1M molecules (blue) collect the toxic radicals, leaving the lipid particles intact and healthy (white; upper right
corner). The healthy blood lipids cannot form plaque and atherosclerosis is prevented
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