Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Oh, rats! Designer animals reveal possible heart disease genes

16.01.2006


Every year, heart disease claims an estimated 7 million lives, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists have struggled to pinpoint the precise genes behind this complex disease. Now, however, they have a new research ally: the designer rat.



In a four-year study published in the January 15 advance online publication of Nature Genetics, researchers at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) systematically bred and studied 43 designer rats with and without high blood pressure, in order to pinpoint candidate genes behind heart disease. In total, the scientists built 2,200 microarray gene expression profiles from these designer rats--providing a valuable new online resource now available to researchers worldwide.

Scientists have long used rat models to study heart disease in the lab. But those studies have yet to answer key questions: Which genes, on which chromosomes, combine to cause this complex condition? Why, and how, do some animals become hypertensive when consuming high-salt diets, while others stay healthy? To turn the tools of genomics onto these questions, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the new study.


In the first part of the study, MCW researchers began with a strain of rats bearing high blood pressure, a hallmark of heart disease. The researchers then bred an almost identical designer rat, with one important change: they substituted one chromosome from the parental, hypertensive rat with the homologous chromosome from a healthy rat. Continuing this way, the team generated 22 unique designer rat strains, each bearing one distinct healthy chromosome substitution. Some of these new designer rats were disease-free, implying that their replaced chromosomes carried genes for high blood pressure and related conditions.

In the second part of the study, TIGR molecular biologist Norman Lee led the team in using a DNA microarray technique to compare the expression of more than 22,000 genes among the hypertensive, healthy, and designer rats. By studying the physical characteristics and gene expression of more than 800 rats, the team identified candidate genes that may contribute to cardiovascular disease, including some genes not previously associated with the condition.

"This information offers an unprecedented amount of data for cardiovascular researchers to now mine," remarks Lee, senior author of the study. Lead author Renae Malek, also a molecular biologist at TIGR, notes that the data point to promising genes for salt-sensitive hypertension, among other conditions. The online database resulting from the study, dubbed TREX, is available free of charge at: http://pga.tigr.org/.

TIGR continues to study the panels of designer rat strains, and Lee hopes in the future to knock out specific candidate heart disease genes, directly testing their effects. "With all this information in hand, science is moving from a microscopic to global perspective of heart disease," Lee says. "This will generate research projects for years down the line."

Kathryn Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://pga.tigr.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>