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Reduce heart attack risk after infections

After an infection, the risk of a heart attack in cardiovascular risk patients increases up to twenty times. IPEK scientists have found that the immune cells are involved in this in a mouse model. However, specific molecules and antibodies can slow down the immune cells and protect risk patients after an infection.

Neutrophil Extracellular Trap ©Silvestre-Roig


In mice, Oliver Söhnlein and his team mimicked an acute bacterial infection to understand the increased risk of heart attack better. The mice also had atherosclerosis and were, therefore, a suitable model for cardiovascular patients at risk of infarction. In atherosclerosis, the blood vessels' inner wall is chronically inflamed, and deposits called plaques form. When these deposits break loose, they can trigger a heart attack or stroke. The researchers observed that the infection increased the size of the mice's plaques and boosted inflammation.




Press release DZHK