Established drug for angina symptoms also protects vascular system, study finds

A drug used in the clinical treatment of angina symptoms also has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. The study, led by MedUni Vienna and including access to data from Harvard Medical School, has now been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Complications of atherosclerosis (heart attack and stroke) are the leading causes of death in Europe and the United States. In recent years, it has been shown that chronic inflammation of the arteries leads to the formation and progression of atherosclerotic plaques (deposits in the blood vessels). The MedUni Vienna research group led by Walter Speidl (Department of Medicine II, Division of Cardiology) and Philipp Hohensinner (Centre for Biomedical Research) has now shown for the first time that a reduction in intracellular sodium concentration inhibits the important inflammatory factor NF -kappa-B. modulator The drug ranolazine is a drug that has been used for a long time to relieve the symptoms of angina pectoris. However, it also inhibits sodium uptake in cells.

Johann Wojta, director of the Cardiology Research Laboratory at the Medical University of Vienna and a co-author of the study, explains: “In this publication, we use research involving cell cultures, animal models and a large-scale human study to identify a new mechanism. to inhibit inflammation in atherosclerosis. We now have evidence that an established drug not only combats angina symptoms, but can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Using data provided by Harvard Medical School, this anti-inflammatory effect was demonstrated in 6,500 patients who had suffered a myocardial infarction. Ranolazine treatment was found to result in lower levels of the inflammatory and cardiovascular risk marker “high-sensitivity C-reactive protein” compared to placebo. Max Lenz, lead author of the study, says: “We have now been able to show that ranolazine is not only effective against symptoms. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces atherosclerotic plaques in our mouse models. These plaques also become more stable, potentially significantly lowering your risk of heart attack. Therefore, ranolazine is a safe drug that has already been approved for patients with coronary heart disease and leads to a reduction in chronic vascular inflammation.

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Materials provided by Medical University of Vienna. Note: content can be edited for style and length.

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