Dr. Brian Annex, professor of medicine and director of vascular medicine at Duke, says the study stemmed directly from his clinical experience. “Over and over, I’d see two patients show up at the same time. They would be the same sex, same age, have identical risk factors and have similar blockages in their arteries. One of them would experience very slow progression of the disease, while the other would face limb loss or death within six months. I just knew there just had to be a genetic basis for it.”
Peripheral arterial disease occurs when major arteries in the legs become clogged with plaque, a fatty build-up that’s similar to the deposits in coronary arteries that can lead to a heart attack. Symptoms range from leg pain brought on by walking that goes away with rest – that’s the more benign form of the disease – to a more serious form, marked by continuous pain and sores and ulcers on the legs that often lead to amputation.
Annex says the mild form rarely progresses into the more severe form. “In reality, we may be looking at two types of diseases, although we’ve always thought of PAD as one.”
Annex had the perfect participants for the study right at his fingertips: two strains of mice with surgically-induced blocked blood flow that mimicked human response to PAD. One strain recovered well, showing restored blood flow and little tissue death; the other had greater tissue loss and poor recovery of normal blood flow.
In collaboration with Dr. Douglas Marchuk, a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke, researchers crossbred the two strains and eventually isolated a mouse that enabled them to identify a relatively small region on chromosome 7 that appears to protect the mice from the consequences of the surgically-induced, PAD-like injury.
“Essentially, we now have a field of about 20 genes that we think may be involved in shaping the way peripheral artery disease develops,” says Annex. “At this point, we are not certain which ones are playing an active role, however. Still, we feel strongly that our discovery opens a new wave of investigation that may one day yield novel prevention strategies or treatments.”
Michelle Gailiun | EurekAlert!
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences