AIF-1 stimulates undesirable formation of new cells after a vascular injury, and IRT-1 has the opposite effect. It is the latter, IRT-1, that Maria Gomez wants to use to stop a dangerous development in the artery, together with researchers at Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and Temple University in the USA. They have already had success in animal experiments.
“After an arterial injury, the inner layer of cells in the artery begins to regrow. In the long term, this usually causes more harm than good”, says Maria Gomez.
A common cause of arterial injuries is the clearing of blocked arteries often performed on patients who have had a heart attack.
“Initially the artery is opened up, but after a while new cell formation increases the risk of further heart attacks.”In animal experiments, the research groups have demonstrated the opposite effects of the two proteins. The carotid artery of rats was damaged with balloon dilation, simulating the procedure carried out on heart attack patients.
After two weeks, there was noticeably less new cell formation in the arteries that had more of the protein IRT-1. With AIF-1, the opposite effect was observed.
“The interesting thing is that both proteins are formed from the same gene and we have now found a mechanism to control the balance in the formation of the two. Using a new drug we can thus increase the amount of the ‘good’ protein, IRT-1. It is not an approved drug, but it has been tested on mice and appears to be tolerated well”, says Maria Gomez.
The researchers have also analysed over 150 fatty deposits (‘plaques’) removed from the carotid arteries of patients.
“We saw that the dangerous plaques – those that are unstable, easily rupture, are more inflamed and more often produce symptoms – contain more AIF-1. Those with a higher proportion of the protein IRT-1 are less dangerous”, observes Lisa Berglund, co-author of the published study.
Diabetes patients develop more plaques, and more often dangerous ones, than non-diabetics. Diabetics have a significantly higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
The regrowth of cells in the arteries also leads to negative changes in blood flow. It may even be the case that AIF-1 is involved in the actual formation of plaques in the arteries.
Heart attacks are the most common cause of death in Sweden and many patients have repeated attacks, which are treated by clearing constrictions in the arteries of the heart using various methods.
“If we could reduce the risk of repeat attacks, this would represent very significant progress”, says Maria Gomez.
The study has been published in the scientific journal Cardiovascular Research:
"NFAT regulates the expression of AIF-1 and IRT-1: Yin and yang splice variants of neointima formation and atherosclerosis"For more information, please contact: Maria.Gomez@med.lu.se
Megan Grindlay | idw
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine