Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists unlock key to blood vessel formation

11.08.2014

Scientists from the University of Leeds have discovered a gene that plays a vital role in blood vessel formation, research which adds to our knowledge of how early life develops.

The discovery could also lead to greater understanding of how to treat cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Professor David Beech, of the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, who led the research, said: "Blood vessel networks are not already pre-constructed but emerge rather like a river system.

Vessels do not develop until the blood is already flowing and they are created in response to the amount of flow. This gene, Piezo1, provides the instructions for sensors that tell the body that blood is flowing correctly and gives the signal to form new vessel structures.

... more about:
»Medicine »arteries »blood »built »endothelial »strain »vessel

"The gene gives instructions to a protein which forms channels that open in response to mechanical strain from blood flow, allowing tiny electrical charges to enter cells and trigger the changes needed for new vessels to be built."

The research team is planning to study the effects of manipulating the gene on cancers, which require a blood supply to grow, as well as in heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, where plaques form in parts of blood vessels with disturbed blood flow.

Professor Beech added: "This work provides fundamental understanding of how complex life begins and opens new possibilities for treatment of health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, where changes in blood flow are common and often unwanted.

"We need to do further research into how this gene can be manipulated to treat these diseases. We are in the early stages of this research, but these findings are promising."

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the research, said: "Blood flow has a major effect on the health of the arteries it passes through. Arteries are more likely to become diseased in areas where the flow is disturbed, for example.

This is because the endothelial cells lining the arteries are exquisitely sensitive to this flow and their response to changes can lead to disease, where the artery becomes narrowed and can eventually cause a heart attack.

"Until now, very little has been known about the process by which blood flow affects endothelial cells. This exciting discovery, in mice, tells us that a protein in those cells could be critical in detecting and responding to changes in blood flow.

"Through further research, using this knowledge, we hope to see whether a treatment can be developed that targets this process to prevent the development of disease in healthy arteries."

###

The research was also funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust and will be published in the journal Nature.

The researchers conducted the study using mouse models.

Further information

Professor David Beech is available for interview. Contact Ben Jones in the press office on +44 (0)113 343 8059 or email B.P.Jones@leeds.ac.uk

A copy of the research paper 'Piezo1 integration of vascular architecture with physiological force', by Li et al, is available from the press office. DOI: 10.1038/nature13701

University of Leeds

The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. http://www.leeds.ac.uk

Ben Jones | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Medicine arteries blood built endothelial strain vessel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Perseus translates proteomics data
27.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Severity of enzyme deficiency central to favism
26.07.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Self-assembling nano inks form conductive and transparent grids during imprint

Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.

To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...

Im Focus: The Glowing Brain

A new Fraunhofer MEVIS method conveys medical interrelationships quickly and intuitively with innovative visualization technology

On the monitor, a brain spins slowly and can be examined from every angle. Suddenly, some sections start glowing, first on the side and then the entire back of...

Im Focus: Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

Im Focus: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms

Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.

Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...

Im Focus: Continental tug-of-war - until the rope snaps

Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases

Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

GROWING IN CITIES - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Gardening

15.07.2016 | Event News

SIGGRAPH2016 Computer Graphics Interactive Techniques, 24-28 July, Anaheim, California

15.07.2016 | Event News

Partner countries of FAIR accelerator meet in Darmstadt and approve developments

11.07.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New study reveals where MH370 debris more likely to be found

27.07.2016 | Earth Sciences

Dirty to drinkable

27.07.2016 | Materials Sciences

Exploring one of the largest salt flats in the world

27.07.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>