Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein not only aids nerve development, but promotes blood vessel growth, too

02.11.2004


Discovery means angiogenesis may one day be stopped, started for therapeutic use



A protein important to nerve development serves the dual purpose of stimulating the growth of blood vessels, researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine and Stanford University have discovered. The discovery opens the possibility that blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) one day may be induced, or stymied, for therapeutic use against heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, according to Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine in the U of U School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology. Li is corresponding author of an article that details the findings to be published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online.

The study focuses on Netrin-1, part of the netrin family of proteins, one of four major classes of neural guidance "cues" that induce axons, or nerve fibers, to extend in specific directions during development. Recent evidence has indicated that the other three classes of neural guidance cues--ephrins, semaphorins, and slits--function as angiogenic regulators. But until now, netrins had not been shown to have a part in blood vessel formation.


Nerves and blood vessels often follow parallel paths of development, which suggests that common cues may induce both processes. In tissue cultures and animal models, Li and the other researchers showed that Netrin-1 "stimulates proliferation, induces migration, and promotes adhesion of endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells."

"It makes sense that factors that guide nerves also guide blood vessel growth," Li said. "This work indicates that there is an expanding number of signals that regulate vessel growth or angiogenesis. Identifying these signals and their interaction are critical steps required for manipulating, blocking, or stimulating blood vessel growth for therapeutic purposes."

The researchers’ data demonstrate that Netrin-1 is a neural guidance cue with the "unique ability to attract both blood vessels as well as axons, and is capable of functioning as a vascular growth factor," they write. Understanding what factors induce blood vessel growth could have important implications for treating disease in the future. Tumors, for example, depend on blood vessels to supply critical nutrients to grow. If blood vessel growth in tumors could be stopped, it may help fight cancer.

Conversely, inducing blood vessel growth may help people with ischemic heart disease whose hearts don’t get enough blood. Although the discovery about Netrin-1 shows promise, therapeutic starting or stopping of blood vessel growth to cure human disease is at least 15 years away--if it proves viable, Li said.

Li began studying whether Netrin-1 promotes blood vessel growth after discovering a vascular receptor for another neural guidance factor. Next, he wants to look at the roles of other netrins in blood vessel development and identify the receptors required for the vascular effects of Netrins.

Along with Li, other researchers on the project included Kye Won Park, Dana Crouse, Satyajit Karnik, and Lise K. Sorensen, the U of U School of Medicine’s Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics; Kelly J. Murphy, U of U Department of Cardiology; Mark Lee and Calvin J. Kuo, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hmbg.utah.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

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

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>