Neutrophils in acute coronary syndrome

HRI researchers Dr Rahul Kurup and Associate Professor Sanjay Patel from the Cell Therapeutics Group recently published a review of the role of neutrophils in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

ACS describes a range of conditions where impaired blood flow to the heart can lead to angina, heart attacks and ACS. This decreased blood flow is often due to atherosclerosis, which is a process of plaque formation within the wall of the heart artery. These plaques typically consist of immune cells, fat, cholesterol and calcium.

Over the past two decades, it has become increasingly apparent that inflammation plays a key role in the start and progression of atherosclerosis. Inflammatory cytokines have been shown to correlate with the risk and burden of coronary artery disease, and there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the presence of various immune cells including neutrophils in atherosclerotic plaques and coronary thrombus specimens.

“We have much better cellular detection methods nowadays, which has enabled scientists to identify that neutrophils are a key player in the process of athero-inflammation,” says lead researcher Dr Kurup.

The review outlines the specific role neutrophils play in ACS and atherothrombosis, as well as describes the inflammasome-mediated release of inflammatory cytokines in neutrophils.

“Our review has shown abundant data demonstrating the role of neutrophils in ACS, and this presents opportunities to develop novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic agents that specifically target neutrophils,” says Associate Professor Patel.

Read the full paper here: Kurup R and Patel S. Neutrophils in acute coronary syndrome; EMJ Cardiol. 2017;5[1]:79-87

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