In this post I want to talk about some research I have taken an interest into with regards to cardiovascular diseases carried out at the Kings College University research facilities. The research was undertaken by the British Heart Foundation of Research Excellence at Kings, one of the two largest of its kind.
The research investigates an enzyme known as ‘NADPH’ oxidase or ‘Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate’ oxidase which is found in the plasma membrane as well as in the membranes of phagosomes (vesicles which kill bacteria during phagocytosis, a process used by white blood cells in the immune system) and the link between endothelial dysfunction . Endothelial dysfunction is the term used to describe problems with the endothelium inside the lining of blood vessels such as atherosclerosis which have negative impacts on the functioning of the cardiovascular system.
The enzyme NADPH oxidase and various isoforms of it have been proven to produce ROS’s or reactive oxygen species which destroy beneficial molecules produced via the endothelium. The NADPH oxidase has been proven to make the artery lining sticky which makes blood cells attach to it forming blood clots and atheroma’s which lead to atherosclerosis. That said an isoform of NADPH oxidase has been proven to have beneficial effects towards cardiac pathologies (as well as some negative ones). NOX4, is proven to have some positive effects aswell.
Look forward to posting again!