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Protein In 'Good Cholesterol' May Help Treat Pulmonary Hypertension

Update Date: Aug 28, 2014 09:17 AM EDT

Oxidized lipids may also contribute to pulmonary hypertension, according to a new study. Pulmonary hypertension is a serious lung  disease that narrows the small blood vessels in the lungs. 

In the study, researchers using a rodent model, showed that a peptide mimicking part of the main protein in high-density lipoprotein (also called 'good cholesterol') may help reduce the production of oxidized lipids pulmonary hypertension. 

Researchers also found that reducing the amount of oxidized lipids improved rodents' heart and lung function. 

"Our research helps unravel the mechanisms involved in the development of pulmonary hypertension," said Dr. Mansoureh Eghbali, the study's senior author and an associate professor of anesthesiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "A key peptide related to HDL cholesterol that can help reduce these oxidized lipids may provide a new target for treatment development."

One of the hallmarks of pulmonary hypertension is a proliferation of smooth muscle cells in the lungs, which is harmful because it narrows the lungs' small blood vessels, the press release added.

The study has been published in the journal Circulation.

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