Researchers report that myeloid cells, blood cells involved in the immune system, use this molecular pathway to guide blood vessel patterning in the retina. Furthermore, in the same study researchers were able to reverse this pathway to accelerate the growth of branching vessels, which could be important to developing new methods for repairing damaged tissues.
"We show in the setting of retina that myeloid cells use this pathway to direct vascular traffic," explained Richard Lang Ph.D., senior investigator on the study and director of the Visual Systems Group in the Division of Ophthalmology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "We think modulation of this pathway might become a promising therapeutic option.''
The study, to be published online May 29, demonstrates how retinal myeloid cells regulate blood vessel branching in the still-developing retinas of postnatal mice by using the Wnt protein signaling network. The Wnt pathway is known for its role in embryonic and early development as well as in cancer. Although myeloid cells play an important part in the immune system, these cells are also found in many different tumor types and promote tumor progression.
Through a series of experiments in cell cultures and mouse models, researchers determined the new pathway works by myeloid cells utilizing the Wnt pathway to regulate expression of a gene known as Flt1. Flt1 encodes a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR1), which suppresses vascular growth by binding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The expression of Flt1 can be adjusted so that when ramped up it inhibits VEGF and vascular branching, or when turned down it allows VEGF to increase branching.
Dr. Lang said the Wnt-Flt1 response is a new pathway for regulating VEGF-stimulated angiogenesis (blood vessel formation). This presents a number of new research opportunities to test its influence on retinal diseases that are often associated with abnormal blood vessel development and in tumor formation, he added.
The current study's first author, James (Tony) Stefater, a member of Dr. Lang's laboratory, is an M.D.-Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Lang, Stefater and their colleagues are already conducting new experiments to see how the pathway influences molecular reactions in retinal disease and in cancer. The cancer studies are being done in collaboration with Jeff Pollard, Ph.D., a renowned cancer cell biologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and co-author on the current study.
The study was supported by funding from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medicine Institute, and included collaborators from those institutions as well as the London Research Institute (Vascular Biology Laboratory) in the United Kingdom and the Center for Skeletal Disease Research, Grand Rapids, Mich.
About Cincinnati Children's
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News and World Report's 2011 Best Children's Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for gastroenterology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties - a distinction shared by only two other pediatric hospitals in the United States. Cincinnati Children's is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org.
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering