Beneficial or not beneficial: that is the question for IL-1 inhibition in atherosclerosis

December 27, 2011

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the major arterial blood vessels. It is one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke. The proinflammatory molecule IL-1 has been linked to atherosclerosis and a clinical trial has been launched in which an antibody specific for IL-1-beta is being studied for its effects on the severe clinical complications of atherosclerosis (i.e., heart attack and stroke).

However, a team of researchers led by Gary Owens, at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has now generated data in mice that raise potential concerns about this clinical trial -- Owens and colleagues find that IL-1 limits the features of advanced atherosclerosis that are linked to the severe complications of the disease in humans.
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TITLE: Genetic inactivation of IL-1 signaling enhances atherosclerotic plaque instability and reduces outward vessel remodeling in advanced atherosclerosis in mice

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Gary Owens
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Phone: 434.924.2652; E-mail: gko@virginia.edu.

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