For the first time, LMU scientists have been able to demonstrate that nerve signals are exchanged between arteries and the brain in atherosclerosis.
Laboratoriies across the world are conducting research on the disease Atherosclerosis. However, their attention is focused on atherosclerotic plaques, deposits of cholesterol, fibrous tissue, and immune cells that form on the inner layer of arteries. These plaques gradually restrict the lumen of the arteries, causing less oxygen to reach the body tissue. Heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral occlusive disease (smokers leg) are some of the most common causes.
No one has asked for a direct connection between the artery and the brain, the obvious reason being that atherosclerotic plaques are not innervated, according to Dr. Sarajo K. Mohanta of the LMU Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention. Specifically, there was a connection between the two, according to Dr. Christian Weber, the institute''s director, and an international team. Crucial results were obtained by Professor Daniela Carnevale and Professor Giuseppe Lembo from the SyN
The researchers at InNature have identified signs that are transmitted from the arteries containing plaques via nerves to the brain. After processing of the signals in the brain has taken place, they are relocating them back to the blood vessel.
A completely new understanding of atherosclerosis
Background information: The arterial walls are made up of three components, an outer layer, a middle layer, and an inner layer. Plaques are discovered in the inner layer. This is a fact that has long been discovered. As such, it did not occur to anyone to investigate if the peripheral nervous system comes into contact with arteries in the case of atherosclerosis.
The following year, his research group has been focusing on what happened on the outer wall of arteries in patients with atherosclerosis. After all, atherosclerosis is rather than just a plaque, rather than a chronic inflammatory disease of the whole artery, according to Mohanta, who was the lead scientist responsible for the project.
The peripheral nervous system responds to such inflammation. Habenichts discovered that molecular sensors known as receptors play a major role. Receptors are located in the outer layer of the vessels. They then identify where plaques are located and where vessels are inflamed by identifying the inflammatory messengers of the inflammation. This then causes the inflammation to worsen.
Long-term prospects for treatment of atherosclerosis cause
Carnevale severed the electrical connection between a diseased artery and the brain in an animal experiment. Eight months later, she compared treated mice with those who had not had this procedure. Atherosclerosis was in fact less developed in the control mice, according to Mohanta. However, there may be a way off the line yet.
The scientists are looking into how the peripheral nervous system is organized and how other receptors play. There are also many signs that stress may influence the brain''s transition to diseased blood vessels. In this regard, Habenicht is planning to investigate neurobiological aspects: Which cells in the brain respond to blood signals? And with which regions of the brain are these cells connected in turn?