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Cardio-Vascular

Statins slow blood vessel aging

9 years, 9 months ago

528  0
Posted on Sep 30, 2008, 6 a.m. By Rich Hurd

New research suggests that statins may slow down the aging of blood vessels by boosting levels of a protein involved in the repair of DNA damage.

New research suggests that statins may slow down the aging of blood vessels by boosting levels of a protein involved in the repair of DNA damage.

Previous research has shown that patients with severe heart disease have arteries that are biologically as much as 40 years older than their chronological age. This premature aging of the arteries is due to extensive DNA damage. Thus, it has been theorized that a means of accelerating DNA repair may provide us with a method of preventing and/or reducing accumulated DNA damage, and therefore preventing or slowing down arterial aging.

Professor Martin Bennett and colleagues at Cambridge University may have done just that. They have found that hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, which are better known as cholesterol-lowering statins, increase levels of Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS)-1, a protein involved in the detection and repair of DNA damage. Both in vivo and in vitro studies showed that increased NBS-1 levels accelerated DNA repair, thus extending the lifespan of blood vessels whilst also preventing them from premature aging.

In a press release issued by Cambridge University, Professor Bennett said: "If statins can also do this in other cells, they may protect normal tissues from DNA damage that occurs as part of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer, potentially reducing the side effects associated with these treatments."

Mahmoudi M, Gorenne I, Mercer J, Figg N, Littlewood T, Bennett M. Statins use a novel nijmegen breakage syndrome-1–dependent pathway to accelerate DNA repair in vascular smooth muscle cells. Circulation Research. 2008;103:717-725.

News release: Anti-ageing for arteries. Cambridge University Website. September 29th 2008.

 

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