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‘Cleaner’ protein A1M to fight atheroma

Protein alpha-1-microglobulin (A1M), which is naturally present in the body, prevents the oxidation of blood fats and protects against atherosclerosis, according to a study published recently in Frontiers of Physiology.1

The research by Professor Bo Åkerström (Lund University, Sweden) and colleagues focused on two of the main causes of atherosclerosis: oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and the molecule myeloperoxidase (MPO).

“The research findings that we have presented in this paper show that A1M stops the oxidation of blood fats and keeps them in good condition. Not only that, A1M can also repair oxidised blood fats”, said Professor Åkerström: “You could say that the tissue is rinsed by A1M in a 5–10 minute cycle, with the protein absorbing the free radicals and heme groups. A1M acts like a bin that captures and neutralises toxic substances throughout the body – in and around all cells – that would otherwise cause inflammation and damage to surrounding tissue”.

“By studying and testing A1M’s properties in relation to LDL and MPO, we discovered that A1M can clean and reduce oxidised blood fats from LDL, as well as taking care of the dangerous substances from MPO and breaking them down. This means that A1M protects against damage to the molecules that we know is a cause of atherosclerosis”, Professor Åkerström continued.

Professor Bo Åkerström (Lund University, Sweden)

Professor Bo Åkerström (Lund University, Sweden)

“The next step is animal experiments, as well as analysis of human tissue. We want to study the blood to see if there is a link between the level of A1M, the concentration of oxidised blood fats and the development of atherosclerosis…If this correlation exists, which I believe it does, I can imagine that it will be possible in the future to develop a preventive drug that reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. It’s not impossible that future patients could receive one dose of A1M per month to clean the blood vessels,” Professor Åkerström concluded.

You can watch an interview on the study with Professor Bo Åkerström here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZxgcx8q1z8

References

1. Martin Cederlund, Adnan Deronic, Jan Pallon, Ole E. Sørensen, Bo Åkerström. A1M/α1-microglobulin is proteolytically activated by myeloperoxidase, binds its heme group and inhibits low density lipoprotein oxidation. Front Physiol 2015;6:11. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2015.00011

Published on: February 25, 2015

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