Comments; VIP reversing myocarditis & atherosclerosis! This is amazing! Cholesterol is finally being recognized as innocent, especially compared to inflammation.  How will pharmaceutical companies manage to patent and profiteer from VIP?

J Immunol. 2018 Jun 1;200(11):3697-3710. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1800122. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Benitez R, Delgado-Maroto V, Caro M, Forte-Lago I, Duran-Prado M, O’Valle F, Lichtman AH, Gonzalez-Rey E1, Delgado M.


Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a neuropeptide that exerts various vascular and cardioprotective functions and regulates immune function and inflammatory response at multiple levels. However, its role in inflammatory cardiovascular disorders is largely unknown.

Myocarditis and atherosclerosis are two inflammatory and autoimmune cardiovascular diseases that cause important adverse circulatory events. In this study, we investigate the therapeutic effects of VIP in various well-established preclinical models of experimental autoimmune myocarditis and atherosclerosis. Intraperitoneal injection of VIP during the effector phase of experimental autoimmune myocarditis in susceptible BALB/c mice significantly reduced its prevalence, ameliorated signs of heart hypertrophy and injury, attenuated myocardial inflammatory infiltration, and avoided subsequent profibrotic cardiac remodeling. This effect was accompanied by a reduction of Th17-driven cardiomyogenic responses in peripheral lymphoid organs and in the levels of myocardial autoantibodies. In contrast, acute and chronic atherosclerosis was induced in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice fed a hyperlipidemic diet and subjected to partial carotid ligation. Systemic VIP treatment reduced the number and size of atherosclerotic plaques in carotid, aorta, and sinus in hypercholesterolemic mice. VIP reduced Th1-driven inflammatory responses and increased regulatory T cells in atherosclerotic arteries and their draining lymph nodes. VIP also regulated cholesterol efflux in macrophages and reduced the formation of foam cells and their presence in atherosclerotic plaques. Finally, VIP inhibited proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells and neointima formation in a mouse model of complete carotid ligation. These findings encourage further studies aimed to assess whether VIP can be used as a pharmaceutical agent to treat heart inflammation and atherosclerosis.


Dr. Raymond Oenbrink
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