Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pruning of Blood Vessels: Cells Can Fuse With Themselves

20.04.2015

Cells of the vascular system of vertebrates can fuse with themselves. This process, which occurs when a blood vessel is no longer necessary and pruned, has now been described on the cellular level by Prof. Markus Affolter from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. The findings of this study have been published in the journal “PLoS Biology”.

The vascular system is the supply network of the human organism and delivers oxygen and nutrients to the last corners of the body. So far, research on the vascular system has focused primarily on the formation of such vascular networks.


Blood vessel network of the zebrafish during the remodeling phase. Some of the small thin branches will regress to form a simpler vessel pattern.

Biozentrum, University of Basel

Markus Affolter’s research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has now investigated the blood vessel pruning in the zebrafish and discovered that the cells have the ability to self-fuse at the membrane margins. Previously, it was unknown that blood vessel cells of vertebrates have this property.

Self-fusion observed in vertebrates for the first time

The formation of blood vessels follows a complicated architectural plan. “At a first glance, the plan for vascular regression seems to be the same but it must differ at the molecular level”, explains Markus Affolter. During vascular regression, most of the cells consecutively migrate and incorporate into the neighboring functional vessels.

The last single cell that remains in the pruning vessel reaches around the lumen and the membrane margins of this cell undergo fusion thus closing the vessel and assuring its tightness. This process, named cell self-fusion, ensures a controlled closure of a regressive blood vessel thus preventing blood leakage. For the first time this self-fusion of cells has been observed in vertebrates, the group humans also belong to. “Such cell behavior was so far only known in simpler organisms such as nematodes”, explains Markus Affolter.

Greater plasticity through self-fusion

During the development of the vascular network, blood vessels are constantly formed but many of them are only required temporarily. Just like a disused arm of a highly branched river, the flow of fresh blood through these vessels is interrupted and the organism begins to prune this side arm. In this way the vascular system regulates itself, optimizing its blood circulation by pruning and recycling the unnecessary vessels with reduced blood flow and blood pressure.

“This newly uncovered process is important for the understanding of blood vessel formation and regression on the cellular level, as this can also explain the extraordinary plasticity and changeability of the vascular system”, says Anna Lenard, the first author of this publication. These investigations were performed on the zebrafish, as in this almost transparent fish the development of blood vessels can be observed in the living animal using modern microscopy techniques.

Relevance of self-fusion for cancer?

“How the cell recognizes its own membrane margins and how fusion with neighboring blood vessel cells is prevented, is not yet known”, says Markus Affolter. Since a long time it has been postulated that each individual cell of an organism has its own code.

“The regression process could partly confirm this theory”, thinks Markus Affolter. Together with his team, he would like to investigate the self-fusion process more closely. As tumors require a well developed vascular system for their growth, a better understanding of the formation and regression of this network could open possibilities for the manipulation of such a system.

Original article:
Anna Lenard, Stephan Daetwyler, Charles Betz, Elin Ellertsdottir, Heinz-Georg Belting, Jan Huisken, Markus Affolter:
Endothelial Cell Self-fusion during Vascular Pruning.
PLoS Biology published online 17 April 2015 | DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002126

Further information:
Heike Sacher, Biozentrum Communications,Tel. +41 61 267 14 49, E-Mail: heike.sacher@unibas.ch University of Basel

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Pruning-of-blood-vessels....

Heike Sacher | Universität Basel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>