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Statins, other cholesterol depletors, may disrupt hypertension development: UCSD study

San Diego (April 3, 2005) Cholesterol-lowering agents, such as the widely-prescribed statin drugs, and cholesterol-blocking agents may prove to be "novel therapeutic agents to modify cellular calcium that contributes to the development of pulmonary hypertension," according Hemal H. Patel who lead a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

In studying idiopathic pulmonary hypertension (PPH), formerly called primary pulmonary hypertension, the UCSD team found "a previously unappreciated cellular and molecular mechanism for the disease process," Patel said, "which may be amenable to treatment with current and future therapies and might provide more substantial, long-term and efficacious benefit to those that have IPAH."

Patel is presenting the research at the 35th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences in San Diego, March 31 - April 5, 2005.

*Paper presentation: "Cholesterol-depleting drugs, including statins, lower intracellular Ca2+ and inhibit proliferation in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells in primary pulmonary hypertension," 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday April 5, Physiology 933.6/board #A446. On view 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

*Featured topic: Patel will participate in Session 898, "Overview: From organelles to organ," a featured topic of the IUPS Calcium Signaling Track, Tuesday beginning at 10:30 a.m., Convention Center room 29C. Patel's presentation is scheduled for noon.

All researchers involved in the study are from UCSD: Hemal H. Patel, Fiona Murray and Paul A. Insel, Department of Pharmacology; Shen Zhang and Jason X-J Yuan, Dept. of Medicine, and Patricia A. Thistlethwaite, Dept. of Surgery.

Research aimed at cellular calcium-dependent aspects of hypertension

IPAH is a severe clinical disease. The prognosis of PPH is poor with untreated disease leading to heart failure and death in two to eight years, Patel noted. Because of limi
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3-Apr-2005


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