Brooklyn, NY - Xian-Cheng Jiang, PhD, professor of cell biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has led a study identifying a new approach for lowering "bad" lipids in blood circulation, a critical means to combat devastating cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. The research was published in the online edition of Gastroenterology.
The team established that an enzyme called LPCAT3 (Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 3) is involved in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC), a type of compound lipid that is a major component of cell membranes. Dr. Jiang found that LPCAT3 deficiency significantly reduces polyunsaturated PC levels in the plasma membrane of the cells that line the intestines, which in turn reduces lipid absorption and decreases levels of lipids (cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid) in circulation.
"Hyperlipidemia, or high levels of lipids, is a common disease and contributes significantly to cardiac related morbidity and mortality," explains Dr. Jiang. "Statin drug trials have provided the major evidence for the benefits of a therapy that lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL), the so called 'bad cholesterol,' and statin therapy is now the mainstay of clinical management of cardiovascular disease. However, there are many instances in which patients do not respond to or cannot tolerate statins."
Because of this, there is an urgent need for additional approaches to lower plasma lipid, preferably acting synergistically with statins.
"Our study is intended to provide a novel approach to reduce the 'bad' lipids in the blood. Although the study was conducted in a mouse model, the outcomes may be applicable to humans," explains Dr. Jiang.
An abstract of the article, Li Z, Jiang H, Ding T, Lou C, Bui HH, Kuo M-S, Jiang X-C, Deficiency in Lysophosphatidylcholine Acyltransferase 3 Reduces Plasma Levels of Lipids by Reducing Lipid Absorption in Mice, Gastroenterology (2015), doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.07.012., is available here: http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(15)01006-9/abstract.
The research was supported by the following grants: VA Merit 000900-01 (PI: Xian-Cheng Jiang) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; NIH-R56HL121409 (PI: Xian-Cheng Jiang) from the National Institutes of Health; and Scientist Development Grant 10SDG4040054 from the American Heart Association (PI: Zhiqiang Li). The content of the published article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or other funders.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient's bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.
SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.