A team of researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a vaccine to treat high cholesterol. The vaccine, which targets a molecule called PCSK9, a protein involved in cholesterol metabolism, is a cost-effective alternative to current expensive cholesterol drugs and could lead to a widely applicable vaccine-based approach for controlling high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
The study demonstrated that the vaccine dramatically lowered cholesterol levels in animals. The study, “A Cholesterol-Lowering VLP Vaccine that Targets PCSK9,” was recently published in the journal Vaccineby Dr. Bryce Chackerian, professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at UNM, Erin Crossey, an MD/Ph.D. student at UNM, and Drs. Alan Remaley, John Schiller and Marcelo Amar at NIH.
Genetic mutations that increase PCSK9 activity are linked to increased levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C—the “bad” cholesterol), which in turn is associated with an increased risk of plaque build-up in the arteries leading to coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. More than 73 million adults in the United States (approximately 32 percent of the population) have elevated LDL-C levels, or high cholesterol.
Although lifestyle changes and medication (such as statins) can lower LDL-C, more than 60 percent of at-risk patients on lipid lowering therapy still go on to have a cardiovascular event.
Statins have side effects, including increased concentrations of liver enzymes, muscle pain, cognitive loss, increased risk of diabetes, and adverse drug interactions. As an alternative to statins, drug companies have developed monoclonal antibody-based drugs that target PCSK9, such as Alirocumab and Evolocumab that were recently approved by the FDA to treat high cholesterol.
While these drugs have been shown to dramatically reduce LDL-C levels (by up to 60 percent) and cardiovascular events, they are extremely expensive, costing over $10,000 per year. This will likely limit the use of this class of drugs for those patients who cannot be effectively managed with statins or some of the other currently used cholesterol-lowering drugs. Additionally, monoclonal antibody therapies must be administered repeatedly for therapeutic effect.
The vaccine uses a VLP (virus-like particle) technology developed by Dr. Chackerian and his UNM co-inventors as an immunogenic carrier of an antigenic PCSK9 peptide. VLP’s are viruses that have had their DNA removed so that they retain their external structure for antigen display but are unable to replicate; they can induce an immune response without causing infection. VLP based vaccines are effective and safe and can be developed rapidly at low cost.
In the study, mice and macaques vaccinated with bacteriophage VLPs displaying PCSK9-derived peptides developed high titer IgG antibodies that bound to circulating PCSK9. Vaccination was associated with significant reductions in total cholesterol, free cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides.
“We believe that this vaccine could lead to a widely applicable approach for controlling hypercholesteremia and cardiovascular disease,” Chackerian said.
Read more: UNM, NIH researchers develop vaccine to treat high cholesterol
The Latest on: High cholesterol
[google_news title=”” keyword=”high cholesterol” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: High cholesterol
- What to know about cholesterol: HealthLinkon February 23, 2024 at 4:51 pm
How high is too high? What's considered "good" cholesterol? Should I turn to medication? KING 5's HealthLink asks a cardiologist for answers.
- The Unexpected Fruit That Can Help Lower Your High Cholesterolon February 23, 2024 at 4:30 pm
Veggies, whole grains, and fruit can help us maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. This one fruit specifically might be a good choice, per some studies.
- How Can I Lower My Cholesterol? A Review By Nutrition Professionalson February 23, 2024 at 1:28 pm
In Nutrition · 12 years of experience · South Africa Cholesterol a type of lipid. It’s a waxy, fat-like substance that our liver produces naturally. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, ...
- A simple blood test could save your life when it comes to high cholesterolon February 23, 2024 at 5:23 am
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 38 percent of American adults have high cholesterol, which can be caused by poor lifestyle habits or genetics. High cholesterol is ...
- Everything you need to know about cholesterolon February 23, 2024 at 4:00 am
Cholesterol is a lipid, a fat-like substance. However, the cholesterol particles circulating in blood vessels come in a variety of forms. Science Photo Library / SHAR ...
- High Cholesterol Symptoms In 30s Women: 7 Unusual Signs of High Bad LDL Cholesterol Levels On Tongueon February 23, 2024 at 2:52 am
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia is another warning symptom of high cholesterol in women that is not often ignored. How are they related? The cholesterol deposits in your blood vessels may affect ...
- Foods to avoid while battling high cholesterolon February 22, 2024 at 6:52 am
Learn about the dangers of processed meats, trans fats, sugary treats, and red meats, and explore healthier alternatives for optimal cardiovascular health.
- Study Links High Levels of Niacin to Heart Disease Risk—All About Vitamin B3 and Heart Healthon February 22, 2024 at 2:50 am
Niacin, a.k.a. vitamin B3, is a water-soluble B vitamin, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Niacin is a micronutrient that we have to get from outside sources, such as supplements ...
- High Cholesterol Symptoms In 30s: Unusual 7 Signs Of High Bad LDL Cholesterol Levels On Legs And Feeton February 22, 2024 at 12:22 am
Are you suffering from high cholesterol? Look out for these early signs and symptoms of high LDL levels in the body that may show up in your legs and feet.
- Most People Have No Idea What Their Blood Pressure or Cholesterol Levels Are, Survey Findson February 20, 2024 at 12:42 pm
A new survey finds that many people don't know their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Here's why that matters.
via Bing News