Indo-American helps identify how aspirin prevents atherosclerosis

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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An Indian-American scientist has identified the precise mechanism by which Aspirin, a remedy universally applied against pain, fevers, inflammation and clotting, also helps prevent arterial plaque build-up.

Using cell culture and mouse models, Sampath Parthasarathy, who holds the Klassen Chair in cardiothoracic surgery at Ohio State University, along with colleagues, observed that aspirin, specifically its active byproduct salicylate, can greatly increase the expression of two proteins, namely paraoxonase 1 (PON1) and apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) by seven and 12 fold, respectively.

Both of these proteins are beneficial components of the HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ complex that helps prevent atherosclerosis; ApoA1 removes bad cholesterol from the bloodstream while PON1 is an antioxidant that breaks down toxic lipid peroxides, reports Eurekalert.

The researchers also noted that the heightened expression of PON1 was accompanied by an increase in a receptor called AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor); this was intriguing as a chemical known to attach to AHR is resveratrol, the ‘heart healthy’ component of red wine.

These findings will appear in the October issue of Journal of Lipid Research.

Meanwhile, Parthasarathy, born in erstwhile Madras in 1947 did his BSc and MSc from there and PhD from Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. After taking US citizenship, he completed his MBA from Phoenix University US.

He had also served as professor of gynaecology and obstetrics at Emory University, Atlanta, among other appointments. Currently he is on the editorial boards of Journal of Lipid Research; Coronary Artery Disease: Index & Reviews and General Pharmacology: The Vascular System.

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