Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find shared genetic link between the dental disease periodontitis and heart attack

27.05.2009
The relationship between the dental disease periodontitis and coronary heart disease (CHD) has been known for several years. Although a genetic link seemed likely, until now its existence was uncertain.

Now, for the first time, scientists have discovered a genetic relationship between the two conditions, a researcher told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics today (Monday 25 May).

Dr. Arne Schaefer, of the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology, University of Kiel, Germany, said that his team had discovered a genetic variant situated on chromosome 9 which was shared between the two diseases. "We studied a genetic locus on chromosome 9p21.3 that had previously been identified to be associated with myocardial infarction, in a group of 151 patients suffering from the most aggressive, early-onset forms of periodontitis, and a group of 1097 CHD patients who had already had a heart attack. The genetic variation associated with the clinical pictures of both diseases was identical," he said. The scientists went on to verify the association in further groups of 1100 CHD patients and 180 periodontitis patients.

"We found that the genetic risk variant is located in a genetic region that codes for an antisense DNA called ANRIL", said Dr. Schaefer, "and that it is identical for both diseases."

When a gene is ready to produce a protein, the two strands of DNA in the gene unravel. One strand produces messenger RNA, and will express a protein. Antisense RNA is complementary to the mRNA, and is often carried by the reverse strand, the 'anti-sense' strand of the DNA double helix. This strand does not encode for a protein, but can bind specifically to the messenger RNA to form a duplex. Through this binding, the antisense strand inhibits the protein expression of the mRNA .

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and periodontitis, which leads to the loss of connective tissue and the bone support of teeth, is the major cause of tooth loss in adults over 40 years. Periodontitis is very common, and around 90% of people aged over 60 suffer from it. Research has already shown a genetic basis for both diseases.

"We intend to push ahead with our work to try to understand more about the function of this RNA molecule and the pathway in which it operates in healthy gums and also in periodontitis. In the meantime, because of its association with CHD, we think that periodontitis should be taken very seriously by dentists and diagnosed and treated as early as possible", said Dr. Schaefer.

Both CHD and periodontitis are propagated by the same risk factors – most importantly smoking, diabetes and obesity – and there is also a gender relationship, with men possibly more liable to these diseases than women. Researchers have also shown similarities in the bacteria found in the oral cavity and in coronary plaques, and both diseases are characterised by an imbalanced immune reaction and chronic inflammation.

"These factors already indicated a possible mutual genetic basis underlying the two diseases", said Dr. Schaefer. Now we know for sure that there is a strong genetic link, patients with periodontitis should try to reduce their risk factors and take preventive measures at an early stage", he said. "We hope that our findings will make it easier to diagnose the disease at an early stage, and that in future a greater insight into the specific pathophsyiology might open the way to effective treatment before the disease can take hold."

Mary Rice | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.eshg.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University

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: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>