Acetylcholine May Prevent Inflammation of the Heart and Blood Vessels: Research


Bone marrow B cells, which produce a chemical messenger called acetylcholine, may prevent inflammation in the heart and blood vessels by blocking the production of white blood cells, new research from Massachusetts General Hospital suggests. This process could help scientists target inflammation in cardiovascular disease. The research has been published in the journal “Nature Immunology.”

Lead author Matthias Nahrendorf, MD, PhD, a researcher at the MGH Center for Systems Biology and Professor Richard Moerschner at the MGH Research Institute and Harvard Medical School, explained that the nervous system plays a role in controlling the production blood cells through chemical messengers or neurotransmitters. “This is for example important in people exposed to stress, where stress hormones – part of the ‘fight or flight’ response controlled by the sympathetic nervous system – can increase bone marrow activity and inflammation. cardiovascular in response to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine,” he said.

Sympathetic nerves have a counter-actor – parasympathetic nerves, which slow down responses and cause a state of calm in the body, primarily through the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Because acetylcholine may have a protective effect against inflammation and heart disease, researchers have studied this neurotransmitter in the bone marrow.

“When we looked at how acetylcholine affects blood cell production, we found it did what was expected – it reduces white blood cells, as opposed to norepinephrine, which increases them,” Nahrendorf said. . “What was unexpected was the source of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine,” he added.

The team found no evidence in the bone marrow of typical nerve fibers known to release acetylcholine. Instead, B cells, which themselves are a type of white blood cell (best known for making antibodies), delivered the acetylcholine into the bone marrow. “So B cells counteract inflammation — even in the heart and arteries — by dampening the production of white blood cells in the bone marrow. Surprisingly, they use a neurotransmitter to do this,” Nahrendorf said.

Harnessing this process can help researchers develop strategies to block inflammation in cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. “Ultimately, this could lead to new therapies that combat myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure,” Nahrendorf said. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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