Stray platelets from our blood can stick to the linings of our blood vessels, eventually causing clogs, heart attacks and strokes. But platelets make poor targets for heart disease drugs; making platelets less prone to clogs makes the owner of the platelets more prone to bleeding and infections.
Now, a team of UConn School of Medicine immunologists led by Patrick Murphy and members of the ImmunoCardiovascular Group, Anthony Vella and Annabelle Rodriguez, show that the lining of blood vessels is a much better drug target. They report in the 18 July issue of PNAS that removing a specific protein, Ptbp1, prevents the lining from becoming sticky and inflamed and forming the plaques of platelets linked to heart attack and stroke.
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