Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough in understanding of hereditary disease of lymphatic vessels

23.08.2004


A study from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) Affiliate Center at the University of Helsinki in Finland has shed light on the development of lymphatic vasculature and valves, and may help to develop better treatments for lymphedema.


Normal lymphatic capillaries (light blue) are devoid of smooth muscle cells, whereas the collecting lymphatic vessels are surounded by a smooth muscle cell layer (orange), which pumps the lymph forward. They also contain valves that prevent the backflow of the lymph. The lymphatic capillaries in the legs of patients who have FOXC2 mutations are abnormally shaped and surrounded by smooth muscle cells. This prevents the efficient uptake and flow of the lymph. Lack of valves in the collecting lymphatics leads to lymph backflow. (Drawing by Paula Saarinen)


Normal lymphatic capillaries (green) dare devoid of smooth muscle cells (red), while the blood vessels are surroundet by a smooth muscle cell layer (A). Mutations in the FOXC2 gene lead to abnormally shaped lymphatic capillaries, which are surrounded by smooth muscle cells (B).



The disease, which results from damaged or absent lymphatic vessels, may be inherited or may be a side-effect of the surgical removal of tumors. Lymphatic vessels normally remove fluid and proteins escaping from blood capillaries into surrounding tissues, and lymphedema is characterized by the disabling swelling of legs, and sometimes arms, that results when the lymphatic vessels are unable to clear the lymph from the tissues. The current study, which was published today in Nature Medicine, has uncovered a fundamental mechanism of the formation of lymphatic vessels.

The LICR team, together with collaborators from the UK, Japan, USA and Austria, analyzed a hereditary form of lymphedema, known as Lymphedema Distichiasis (LD), which is caused by mutations in a gene called FOXC2. The team found that the lymphatic vessels of LD patients are abnormally shaped and covered with smooth muscle cells that are usually present only on blood vessels and on larger, collecting lymphatic vessels. In addition, mutations in Foxc2 led to a lack of lymphatic valves, which prevent the reflux of lymph. This is the first study that describes a gene critical for the formation of lymphatic valves, and regulation of the interaction between lymphatic endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells.


According to Professor Kari Alitalo, the senior author of the study, the insights gleaned into FOXC2 function may be applicable in the development of therapies for several disorders that affect lymphatic vessel formation. “We are currently working on approaches to stimulate the proper formation of lymphatic vessels in people who suffer from lymphedema. However, FOXC2 is produced in endothelial cells of both lymphatic and venous valves, so these results may also turn out to be important for the understanding and treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, which affects 5-25 % of the adult population.”

Sarah White | alfa
Further information:
http://www.licr.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Shallow soils promote savannas in South America

20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>