Inflammation is an active driver of atherosclerotic plaque development and a risk factor for atherosclerotic events. It is therefore of utmost importance to understand the mechanisms behind these inflammatory processes and to be able to develop new diagnostics and treatment modalities for atherosclerotic disorders.

CNIC, FJD (Fundación Jiménez Díaz) and UAM (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) researchers conducted a study to identify new antibodies that show reactivity against the atherosclerotic plaque. They have found that one of these antibodies recognizes a mitochondrial dehydrogenase of the proline metabolism (PRODH). The levels of this protein are increased in the plasma of atherosclerotic mice and humans with carotid disease, supporting the potential use of this PRODH as a biomarker for atherosclerosis.

Novel atherosclerosis biomarkers are in need to improve the strategies for diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. CNIC and DKFZ researchers have discovered 18 novel antibodies that show reactivity against the atherosclerotic plaque, which can thus be potentially used for the diagnosis of this disease. Moreover, the use of one such antibody, A12, delays the progression of atherosclerosis and reduces the level of free circulating cholesterol and LDL.