Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diabetic Retinopathy: A Variant Of A Growth Factor Responsible For Abnormal Blood Vessel Growth And Eye Damages

19.09.2007
Targeting the inflammation caused by VEGF could give better quality of life to patients affected by this progressive disease, say UK scientists

A variant form of a common growth factor, called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) was identified that is responsible for the inflammation and altered retinal vascularisation that occurs in diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). It could become the target for novel therapies that will help to solve, or at least to ease, a pathology which is poorly treatable by common drugs. The announcement was made yesterday by Professor David T. Shima, Group Leader at the University College of London, Institute of Ophthalmology, at the European Meeting on Vascular Biology and Medicine, held in parallel with the Fourth Annual Meeting of EVGN (www.evgn.org), network of excellence on cardiovascular disease.

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness and is characterized by the invasive growth and abnormal function of blood vessels within the retina, that obstructs vision and triggers other unwanted effects. With an estimate of 500.000 new cases of severe disease per year in Western Countries it is rightly considered a sanitary priority. Many research groups are focussing on potential targets, but so far no effective pharmacological approaches have been proven to substitute the current (destructive) surgical therapies.

David T. Shima and colleagues focused on a growth factor known to be produced during ischemic conditions, when the eye suffers from lack of oxygen. VEGF, this is its name, counterbalances this condition by promoting blood vessel growth. In diabetic retinopathy VEGF is part of an adaptive response to ischemia, that unfortunately in the long run becomes noxious per se.

... more about:
»VEGF »retinopathy »vascular cells »vessel

“We observed – explained the scientist – that, blood vessels in the ischemic retina do regrow but in a disorganized way: they form clumps instead of a fine mesh-like network. UK scientists asked why and clarified the role of VEGF.

“We decided to further characterize the VEGF activity responsible for the abnormal response and identified one alternative form (or isoform) called VEGF 164, that drives not only ocular neovascularization and vascular permeability, but also an undesirable inflammatory reaction. When this form is genetically or pharmaceutically inhibited the pathological neovascularization is inhibited as well, and blood vessels sprout normally”. Further analysis spotted a specific region within this molecule that is the major cause of inflammation, another characteristic of DR. Again, mutations in this region abolish the undesired pro-inflammatory effects

“Certainly, the inflammatory function of VEGF 164 represents a promising target for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. However there is one problem to solve: VEGF has a second, beneficial role as it protects neurons from ischemic death. Its complete elimination would trigger unwanted consequences and further research is needed to understand this apparent contradiction. Better understanding of the risks and benefits could pave the way for the treatment of this sight-threatening human disease”.

Run jointly with the European Vascular Biology Organization (EVBO) and the British Atherosclerosis Society and articulated over a three day period (September 17-20), the EVGN Meeting will take place in parallel with the 4th European Meeting on Vascular Biology and Medicine (EMVBM), gathering more than 400 scientists from all over Europe with representatives from the rest of the world.

The European Vascular Genomics Network (EVGN) is the first Network of excellence on cardiovascular disease funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme "Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health" (Contract Number: LSHMCT- 2003-503254).

The Conference is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Laboratoires SERVIER.

Francesca Noceti | alfa
Further information:
http://www.evgn.org/
http://www.ifom-ieo-campus.it

Further reports about: VEGF retinopathy vascular cells vessel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>