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AHA: Vaccine Lowers High Blood Pressure in Rat Model

Second study shows long-term cholesterol control with anti-PCSK9 vaccine in animal model

AHA: Vaccine Lowers High Blood Pressure in Rat Model

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccines may provide solutions for high blood pressure and cholesterol control, according to two experimental studies presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

Hiroshi Koriyama, M.D., from the Osaka University United Graduate School of Child Development in Japan, and colleagues designed a DNA vaccine for high blood pressure using angiotensin II (Ang II) as a target antigen. A plasmid vector encoding hepatitis B core (HBc)-Ang II fusion protein, HBc, or saline were injected into spontaneously hypertensive rats (six to eight rats per group) three times. The researchers found that anti-Ang II antibody was successfully produced in the HBc-Ang II group, and sustained until six months or more. After immunization, the titers of anti-Ang II and anti-Ang I antibodies increased significantly. After immunization, systolic blood pressure was consistently lower in the HBc-Ang II group, and the reduction lasted for at least six months.

Gergana Galabova, D.V.M., Ph.D., from AFFiRiS AG Immunology in Vienna, and colleagues described the development of a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) peptide-based active immunotherapy for lowering circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Antigenic peptides (AFFITOPEs) that induce PCSK9-specific antibody response were coupled with carrier proteins and an adjuvant, and administered to mice and rats subcutaneously. The researchers found that persistent, functional antibodies were induced by AFFITOPE-based anti-PCSK9 vaccines, which reduced cholesterol for up to one year.

"AFFITOPE-based PCSK9 vaccines are an innovative approach and a powerful strategy for the long-term management of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels," Galabova and colleagues write.

One author of the Koriyama study disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical company AnGes MG.

Abstract - Koriyama
Abstract - Galabova
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