Herpes and cholesterol buildup.Herpes and cholesterol buildup
There may be a viral spark to hardening of the arteries hardening of the arteries: see arteriosclerosis. in humans, according to David P. Hajjar and Alan J. Grant of Cornell University Medical College in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. . The researchers infected smooth-muscle cells, one of the cholesteroladen cell types found in atherosclerotic plaque, with herpes simplex virus Herpes simplex virus
A virus that can cause fever and blistering on the skin, mucous membranes, or genitalia.
Mentioned in: Conjunctivitis
herpes simplex virus type I, most commonly associatd with cold sores. The infected cells accumulated a significant amount of cholesterol and produced less of a chemical involved in cholesterol breakdown.
While the results implicate im·pli·cate
tr.v. im·pli·cat·ed, im·pli·cat·ing, im·pli·cates
1. To involve or connect intimately or incriminatingly: evidence that implicates others in the plot.
2. herpesvirus herpesvirus, any of the family (Herpesviridae) of common DNA-containing viruses, many of which are associated with human disease. See cytomegalovirus; Epstein-Barr virus; herpes simplex; herpes zoster. , Hajjar emphasizes that "it's one factor amongst many. I'm not saying that if you have a herpesvirus infection or cold sores due to herpes simplex virus type
1 that you're more susceptible to atherosclerosis." Given that most people are infected with the virus and not all people develop severe atherosclerosis, much remains to be learned about the connection.
There are several theories concerning the cause of atherosclerosis, including one holding that individual plaques arise from unrestrained reproduction of single cells (SN: 11/15/86, p.310). The herpesvirus connection could fit into this monoclonal hypothesis as a trigger for cell proliferation, Hajjar says.