Fantastic Discovery: Foul Smelling Chemical Can Reduce Plaque and Prevent Atherosclerosis

9How putrescine resolves inflammation

Through further research about how plaque forms through natural mechanisms and the removal of dead cells, Prof. Tabas hope that they will bring about new developments in different types of treatment. Their initial experiment involved mixing human macrophages and dying cells in a dish. When studying the biochemistry of the process in which the macrophages eliminated the dying cells, they found that when the dying cells were engulfed by the macrophages, even the amino acid profile of the cells were recycled including the amino acid arginine.

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10The research

The macrophages utilized arginase 1 an enzyme that issued to convert arginine to putrescine. This creates a trigger to a chain reaction that signals all the other macrophages to start consuming the dead cells. Once they identified the role of putrescine, the scientists then studied the effects in mice afflicted with atherosclerosis. Those rodents who had a worse form of the plaque, insufficient arginase led to a short supply of putrescine.

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11New treatments for chronic inflammation

Speaking to media, prof. Tabas said that the discovery could spark of new treatments for atherosclerosis and other chronic inflammation conditions like Alzheimer’s. “Resolving inflammation is a normal part of the inflammatory response, and in these diseases, it doesn’t resolve,” he said. The biggest contributor to these conditions is the inability of the process of efferocytosis to get rid of dead cells. Thus, a drug promoting a sweeping operation could well reduce the inflammation.

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12More research is needed but there are other molecules being researched with the same properties

But Professor Tabas also added that Putrescine on its own will not be an ideal treatment since earlier research showed that at high doses, it could be toxic. ““If this were ever to go to clinical trials, there would have to be very careful safety studies making sure that the doses needed to protect this pathway are far below those that cause toxicity,” he said. However, the good news about it was that there are other molecules also that contribute and increase efferocytosis and these are already in clinical trials.

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Such molecules are known as “specialized pro-resolving mediators” or SPMs for short. They are generated in the body when omega-3 fatty acids are broken down and this may help provide an explanation of the health benefits of such nutrients.

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