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 Medicines 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.
Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D | EurekAlert!
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