Researchers find new drug to prevent heart attack, stroke in high-risk patients

Researchers find new drug to prevent heart attack, stroke in high-risk patients Washington D.C. [USA], Dec. 22 : Researchers have developed a new therapeutic approach to prevent heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases by finding a protein inhibitor drug that can stop blockage development in blood vessels.

The study, published in the journal of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, found that PAI-039 inhibited the migration of cultured human coronary artery smooth muscle cells and prevented the development of blockages in arteries and bypass grafts in mice.

"Arteries are living hoses that narrow and enlarge in order to regulate blood flow to organs and muscles," said senior study author William Fay from University of Missouri-Columbia.

"We found that PAI-039 decreased blockage formation by about 50 percent, which is a powerful effect in the models we used," Fay added.

Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, or PAI-1, is a naturally occurring protein within blood vessels that controls cell migration. With diseases such as diabetes and obesity, PAI-1 over-accumulates in blood vessels. This promotes blockage formation. This process occurs not only in arteries, but also in vein grafts in patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

The team studied PAI-039, also known as tiplaxtinin, an investigational drug not yet used to treat humans.

Fay stated that if future studies are successful, PAI-039 or similar drugs could be used to prevent blockages in arteries and bypass grafts.

"In addition to reducing vascular blockages, inhibiting PAI-1 also produces a blood thinning effect that prevents the blood clots that trigger most heart attacks and strokes," Fay explained.

"However, perhaps someday a PAI-1 inhibitor can be used in combination with other approaches such as proper diet and exercise, aspirin and cholesterol medications to prevent blood vessel blockages and reduce heart attack and stroke risk." (ANI)