Scientists have discovered a new biological pathway that may be useful in regulating angiogenesis, the process the body uses to build new blood vessels. The findings, published in the December issue of the journal Immunity, may offer clinicians a new way to intervene in a broad range of diseases and disorders, including cancer, heart and lung disease, wound healing and transplantation.
Angiogenesis is a normal function in the body, but it’s not always helpful. For example, while it is critical to normal embryonic development and beneficial in wound healing and recovery from heart disease, it can be harmful when it creates new feeder lines that help cancerous tumors grow and spread.
Investigators in The Ohio State University Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute say angiogenesis appears to be manageable by stimulating monocytes – certain white blood cells in the immune system – with high doses of a naturally occurring growth factor in the body called GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor).
Michelle Gailiun | EurekAlert!
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