New vaccines may control blood pressure and cholesterol, but for now it’s all experimental.
Vaccines may be the next solution for high blood pressure and cholesterol control, according to two experimental studies presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2013 Scientific Sessions, held in Dallas.
While not yet tested on humans, the researchers have designed a DNA vaccine that targets angiotensin II ― a hormone that raises blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict. While anti-angiotensin II blood pressure medications are already widely used, the vaccine could get around adherence problems that leave patients at elevated risk of stroke and other cardiovascular events.
In the study, the vaccine, Ang II DNA, not only lowered blood pressure, but reduced tissue damage to the heart and blood vessels associated with hypertension. The vaccine also caused no dangerous autoimmune reactions and there were no signs of damage to the kidney, heart or liver.
“Future development of DNA vaccine to hypertension may provide a new therapeutic option to treat hypertensive population,” Hiroshi Koriyama, MD, of Japan’s Osaka University, and colleagues concluded.
Previous researcher has shown the importance of cholesterol on blood pressure. A study of 17,000 Americans with both hypertension and high cholesterol, published in AHA journal Circulation, demonstrated that patient if a patient with both high blood pressure and high cholesterol is treated for both concurrently, they are 50 percent less likely to get heart disease.
In light of the above, another vaccine of interest introduced for the first time at the AHA Dallas meeting, targets cholesterol. The researchers describe it as “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. They concluded that “AFFITOPE-based PCSK9 vaccines are an innovative approach and a powerful strategy for the long-term management of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.”
It will take time for these vaccines are pass clinical trials and more to become publically available. Patients with high blood pressure could try RESPeRATE ― the first medical device clinically proven to lower blood pressure. The device is not only a completely non-invasive and non-drug treatment, but it is readily available over-the-counter and already used by more than 250,000 men and women worldwide to lower high blood pressure naturally.