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The novel role of epigenetics in primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Claudio Napoli, Amelia Casamassimi, Vincenzo Grimaldi, Concetta Schiano, Teresa Infante, Alberto Zullo, Maria Lourdes Montesano, Laura Auriemma, Francesco Paolo De Luca, Gustavo De Iorio, Louis J. Ignarro, Francesco Paolo Mancini
  • Claudio Napoli
    Department of General Pathology, Division of Clinical Pathology and Excellence Research Centre on Cardiovascular Disease, 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy; U.O.C. Immunohematology, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology (SIMT), Regional Reference Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (LIT), 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy; Foundation SDN, IRCCS, Naples, Italy, | claunap@tin.it
  • Amelia Casamassimi
    Department of General Pathology, Division of Clinical Pathology and Excellence Research Centre on Cardiovascular Disease, 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Vincenzo Grimaldi
    U.O.C. Immunohematology, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology (SIMT), Regional Reference Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (LIT), 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Concetta Schiano
    Department of General Pathology, Division of Clinical Pathology and Excellence Research Centre on Cardiovascular Disease, 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Teresa Infante
    Foundation SDN, IRCCS, Naples, Italy
  • Alberto Zullo
    Department of Science for Biology, Geology and Environment, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy; CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate s.c.a r.l., Naples, Italy,
  • Maria Lourdes Montesano
    U.O.C. Immunohematology, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology (SIMT), Regional Reference Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (LIT), 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Laura Auriemma
    U.O.C. Immunohematology, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology (SIMT), Regional Reference Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (LIT), 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Francesco Paolo De Luca
    U.O.C. Immunohematology, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology (SIMT), Regional Reference Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (LIT), 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Gustavo De Iorio
    U.O.C. Immunohematology, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology (SIMT), Regional Reference Laboratory of Transplant Immunology (LIT), 1st School of Medicine, Second University of Naples, Italy
  • Louis J. Ignarro
    Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA School of Medicine, Center for the Health Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • Francesco Paolo Mancini
    Department of Science for Biology, Geology and Environment, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy; Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy,

Abstract

A great deal of evidences indicate that impaired fetal growth and in utero exposure to risk factors, especially maternal hypercholesterolemia, may be relevant for human pathophysiological signs of atherosclerosis and subsequent development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) during different life stages. Despite the underlying mechanisms of fetal programming are still unknown, epigenetics has been suggested as one of the possible explanations for the associations between intrauterine risk factors and CVD development. Indeed, a lot of translational studies support the hypothesis that epigenetic changes are related to increased CVD risk although it is still not possible to establish a direct causality in humans. Notably, epigenetic modifications can be reversible through therapeutic approaches employing histone deacetylase inhibitors, histone acetyltransferase inhibitors and commonly used drugs like statins. Thus, the whole comprehension of these mechanisms will provide in the next future the rationale for the development of novel tools to be used in the primary prevention and therapy of CVD.

Keywords

epigenetics, cardiovascular disease, primary prevention, hypercholesterolemia, novel risk factors.

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Submitted: 2012-07-30 16:09:15
Published: 2012-11-19 18:03:08
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Copyright (c) 2012 Claudio Napoli, Amelia Casamassimi, Vincenzo Grimaldi, Concetta Schiano, Teresa Infante, Alberto Zullo, Maria Lourdes Montesano, Laura Auriemma, Francesco Paolo De Luca, Gustavo De Iorio, Louis J. Ignarro, Francesco Paolo Mancini

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