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"" Ann Bonham named acting executive associate dean ""
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"" Traditional test for predicting heart disease found unreliable ""
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  Immune, protein alterations found in blood samples of children with autism  
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  Brain region recovery possible in former methamphetamine users  
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  CT technology may be gentler, more accurate than mammography  
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  Town raises $1 million to fight cancer  
     
  Researchers discover new link between C-reactive protein and heart disease, stroke  
     
  UC Davis study on drug advertising shows influence on physicians  
     
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  NEWS
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Researchers discover new link between C-reactive protein and heart disease, stroke

The cells that line the arteries are able to produce C-reactive protein, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the American Journal of Pathology.

C-reactive protein, produced by the liver, is a risk marker for heart disease, but UC Davis Health System researchers Ishwarlal Jialal and Sridevi Devaraj found that endothelial cells also produce C-reactive protein.

"We have demonstrated that aortic and coronary artery endothelial cells produce and secrete C-reactive protein," said Jialal, professor of pathology and internal medicine and director of the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research at UC Davis Medical Center. "We also showed that mature white cells make chemical messengers, which enhance the C-reactive protein secretion by endothelial cells at least 10-fold."

"This tells us that there is cross-talk in the active plaque where these cells act in concert to cause very high C-reactive protein levels in the accumulation of plaque on the innermost layer of the artery. The C-reactive protein can act not only on the endothelial cells, but also on white cells and smooth muscle cells in the atheroma. This creates a vicious cycle, leading to plaque instability and rupture, and ultimately heart attacks and strokes."

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