Research ArticleAtherosclerosis

Prevention of atherosclerosis by bioactive palmitoleate through suppression of organelle stress and inflammasome activation

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Science Translational Medicine  28 Sep 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 358, pp. 358ra126
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf9087

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Artery-saving fat

Although fatty foods often have a bad reputation when it comes to atherosclerosis, a study by Çimen et al. identifies a type of fat that is not only harmless but also protective. Palmitoleate is a lipid that can be produced directly by the human body and is also found in a variety of foods, but only in small amounts. Using human cells and mouse models, the authors demonstrate that palmitoleate reduces metabolic stress in a variety of tissues as well as in atherosclerotic plaques and thus decreases the severity of atherosclerosis in mouse models.