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Aug 18, 2019

From centenarians’ genetic code, a potential new therapy against cardiovascular diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

Some people live much longer than average, partly thanks to their DNA. A study, published in the European Heart Journal, shows that it could be possible to replicate this genetic gift even for those lacking it. The way is now open to an innovative therapy model capable of preventing and fighting cardiovascular diseases through a real rejuvenation of blood vessels.

The study, conducted by the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, the I.R.C.C.S. Multimedica and the Department of Medicine, Surgery, and Dentistry, Salerno Medical School University of Salerno, with the support of the Cariplo Foundation and the Italian Ministry of Health, focuses on the gene that encodes the BPIFB4 . In the past, the same research group had identified a variant of this gene, the so-called LAV (“longevity associated variant”), which prevails in people over 100 years of age. Now, through a , researchers have inserted the LAV-BPIFB4 gene into the DNA of animal models particularly susceptible to atherosclerosis and, consequently, to cardiovascular diseases.

“The results—says Annibale Puca, coordinator of a research team at the University of Salerno and at I.R.C.C. MultiMedica—were extremely encouraging. We observed an improvement in the functionality of the endothelium (the inner surface of blood vessels), a reduction of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries and a decrease in the inflammatory state.”

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