(中央社訊息服務20141227 17:03:59)A Tainan-based National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) research team has discovered that obesity leads to a reduction in the protein lysyl oxidase (LOX) which accelerates aortic aging and stiffness, causing arteriosclerosis, and is a major threat to health.
Professor Yau-Sheng Tsai of the NCKU Institute of Clinical Medicine led the team to investigate the pathophysiological link between arteriosclerosis and obesity.
The study was published in a 2013 edition of the renowned journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
Obesity is harmful to health, and increased aortic stiffness is a major cause for sudden death in many of the patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, according to Tsai.
He said, blood vessel elasticity requires cross-linking between elastin, of which LOX is a key.
Through experimentation, the team found that obesity leads to a decrease in LOX expression, which subsequently reduces elastin fiber strength and the level of cross-linkage. Consequently, it increases elastin fragmentation and elastolytic activity.
It was also noted that the aortas of obese mice were surrounded by a significant amount of pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative perivascular adipose tissue,
In vitro studies revealed that the conditioned medium from differentiated adipocytes or the perivascular adipose tissue of obese mice decreases LOX activity.
As such, the results succeeded in establishing a causal relationship between LOX downregulation and aortic stiffening in obesity.
Professor Tsai adds that, though many people are aware of the potential cardiovascular diseases, their concern is mostly limited towards atherosclerosis, and often ignore the health dangers caused by decreased vascular elasticity.
According to Tsai, the next step in research is to tackle the issue of treatment, in the hopes of discovering a medication which will decrease pro-inflammatory perivascular adipose tissue, in order to provide a new prospective regarding medical treatments.
The team was led by Professor Yau-Sheng Tsai of the NCKU Institute of Clinical Medicine, and consisted of doctors Ju-Yi Chen, Wei-Chuan Tsai, Yi-Heng Li, Li-Jen Lin and Chang-Hua Chou, in addition to Professors Ming-Jer Tang, Hua-Lin Wu, and Shu-Chu Shiesh. Associate Professors Pei-Jane Tsai, Ming-Long Yeh, and Chen-Fuh Lam were also involved, along with research assistant Ruei-Lan Tsai and Mei-Chung Wang and doctoral students Haw-Chih Tai and Yu-Wei Chiou and master student Yu-Tzu Chang.
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