Latest Issue of Science News


News

Inflammation inhibitor may limit heart attacks

Last year, scientists reported that a person's risk of a heart attack is doubled if he or she produces a particular version of FLAP, known more technically as 5-lipoxygenase activating protein. A troublesome variant of this protein boosts production of the inflammatory hormone leukotriene B4. Now, researchers report that an experimental drug suppresses this inflammation mechanism.

Excess leukotriene B4 could cause a heart attack by triggering the rupture of fatty plaques in arteries, says study coauthor Hákon Hákonarson of Decode Genetics of Reykjavik, Iceland. Such ruptures can lead to blood clots and can also shed fragments that dam blood vessels downstream.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.