In addition, the scientist highlighted the strong parallels existing between the apoptotic microenvironment in cardiovascular disease and those present in the tissues of a few degenerative diseases. In the long run, these data could provide better understanding of other untreatable human pathologies.
The sequence of reactions triggered by apoptosis was presented today, September 19th, at the Fourth Annual Meeting of the European Vascular Genomics Network (EVGN, www.evgn.org), the Network of excellence on cardiovascular disease, which is running in parallel with the 4th European Meeting on Vascular Biology and Medicine (EMVBM).
With more than 400 attendants from all over Europe and representatives from the rest of the world, among whom there are cardiologists, diabetes researchers, hematologists, thrombosis scientists, gene therapists and oncologists, the Bristol Meeting offers a stimulating environment for discussion and future planning.
Apoptosis, the programmed cell death that occurs when a cell has accumulated sufficient DNA damages that it is unable to repair its DNA, is centrally involved in the pathogenesis of a whole range of human illnesses and injury states, and atherosclerosis is no exception. However, until recently, its exact role in this pathology was unclear.
Martin Bennett, a leading cardiologist and atherosclerosis expert, set up a series of targeted experiments aimed at understanding the precise mechanism of action of this, otherwise useful, process.
“We decided – explained Bennett – to elucidate the role that VSMCs death has in the timeline of atherosclerosis progression. Using a mouse model that reproduces the human condition, we induced apoptosis of VSMCs only inside the vessel wall, observing, at first, a clear enlargement of the atherosclerotic plaques that almost doubled their size. This is a bad prognostic factor, as the more they grow the more the plaques become brittle”. That was exactly the second observation made: after the initial growth, the fibrous cap that encloses a typical plaque became thinner, whereas the plaque core increased. “All these signals – points out Bennett – could be useful at the bedside, for a real-time monitoring of atherosclerosis progression”. Not enough, after these first events, the researchers confirmed that the whole region involved in the apoptotic process undergoes calcification. This, in turn, prevents the remodelling of a vessel and, when occurs in a patient, it worsens his or her prognosis.
Furthermore, from Bennett’s investigation emerged striking analogies with two degenerative diseases: Marfan’s syndrome and Hutchinson Gilford Progeria. In both these diseases the tissues look much similar to the one analysed by Bennett in the atherosclerotic settings, with areas of calcifications, and the same kind of infiltrating cells.
“Early as they are, these data rise hope that apoptosis could be targeted at different levels, in order to prevent the cascade of reactions so noxious for the health. And that, possibly, it will help to find novel therapies also for other ailments”.
Funding of Collaborative Research Center developing nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy extended
28.06.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Zeolite catalysts pave the road to decentral chemical processes Confined space increases reactivity
28.06.2017 | Technische Universität München
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine