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David Telling Grant

11 December 2017

Enhanced PPAR-delta expression in patients with periodontitis promotes the inflammatory and pro-atherosclerotic properties of monocytes/macrophages The most common cause of heart attacks is atherosclerosis.

To Daire Shanahan and Sarah George and Angela Nobbs, £16,027. 

The most common cause of heart attacks is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis involves deposition of cholesterol and inflammation of the arteries that supply the heart, causing them to thicken and harden. It has been shown that oral bacteria which drive periodontal (gum) disease such as Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (A.a) can trigger such inflammation, and patients suffering from periodontal disease are particularly susceptible to atherosclerosis. However, the precise mechanisms by which these oral bacteria give rise to inflammation are largely unknown. This pilot project seeks to determine whether A.a. influences and change the behaviour of monocytes in patients with periodontitis via the signalling molecule PPAR-delta. The longer-term benefit of the research will be to develop new treatments that suppress the effects of periodontal bacteria on monocytes and consequently retarding inflammation, stopping the formation of blockages within arteries and preventing heart attacks.

The David Telling Charitable Trust awards monies to medically qualified staff, not usually exceeding £25,000, to encourage pump-priming medical research projects and to support younger medical researchers seeking to establish their academic excellence, rather than existing major grant holders. 

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