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Nat Med. 1995 Jan;1(1):74-9.

The serum concentration of active transforming growth factor-beta is severely depressed in advanced atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK.


Recent evidence has led us to propose that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a key inhibitor of atherosclerosis. We show here that a population of patients with advanced atherosclerosis all have less active TGF-beta in their sera than patients with normal coronary arteries, with a fivefold difference in average concentration between the two groups. This correlation with atherosclerosis is much stronger than for other known major risk factors and it may therefore have important diagnostic and prognostic significance. Aspirin medication correlates with an increase in active TGF-beta concentration, indicating that therapeutic interventions for TGF-beta are possible.

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