These research findings will lead to improved understanding of the molecular design of EPCs, says Dr. Katusic, a specialist in cardiovascular pharmacology at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minn.
The study was funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
EVIDENCE OF NANOPARTICLES FOUND IN PLAQUE-FILLED ARTERIES
EMBARGOED: 9:30 a.m. Eastern, April 30, 2007
Scientific evidence increasingly links arterial calcification to the presence of nanosized particles o so small that some scientists question whether a nanoparticle can live and, if so, play a viable role in causing disease.
A new Mayo Clinic study cites evidence showing the presence of nanoparticles near plaque-filled arteries in animal models. The study suggests that nanoparticles potentially represent a previously unrecognized factor in the development of arteriosclerosis and calcific arterial disease.
Calcium deposits clog blood vessels and damage major organs, such as the heart. But the molecular mechanisms that kick-start this process, called pathologic calcification, havent been explained.
The study's author, Maria Kraemer, a Mayo Graduate School student in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues isolated and propagated self-replicating, self-calcifying nanoparticles from human arteriosclerotic aneurysms and kidney stones.
"The work we are doing with human-derived nanoparticles is important because preliminary studies indicate that they may increase negative responses to arterial injury, possibly leading to blocked arteries and arterial calcification," Kraemer says.