The formation of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis, is an Achilles’ heel of tumor growth, because tumors depend on the supply of oxygen and nutrients for survival. Therefore, for some years now substances called angiogenesis inhibitors have been used in cancer treatment to suppress this process. In order to advance this new research field, a team of researchers headed by Professor Hellmut Augustin has developed a method to create a complex human vascular system in mice, which stays functional even after several months.
The method is based on the observation that isolated cells of the vessel walls, called endothelial cells, congregate spontaneously in cell cultures to form aggregates known as spheroids. “Individual endothelial cells floating in suspension are doomed to die – the association in spheroids stabilizes them,” says Hellmut Augustin. The scientists Abdullah Alajati and Anna Laib have been able to inject such spheroids, embedded in a gel matrix, under the skin of mice and to stimulate the formation of a network of human blood vessels by means of growth factors. The mice were genetically modified in such a way that their immune system was unable to reject the foreign cells. “The newly formed blood vessels are made exclusively of human endothelial cells,” explains Anna Laib, a young researcher at the DKFZ. “At the matrix borders the human endothelial cells establish contact with those of the mouse. In this way, the transplanted human vasculature gets connected to the blood circulation of the mouse.”
The method provides experimental freedom and may deliver answers to various questions of vascular biology research. Scientists can genetically manipulate the endothelial cells before transplantation in order to investigate the formation of vascular networks. In addition, it is possible to test the effect of pharmacological substances; the Freiburg-based company ProQinase GmbH, which is involved in the study, is already conducting such experiments. “The method is even interesting for the production of artificial tissues,” Hellmut Augustin says. “So far, one difficulty with the use of artificial replacement tissues has been to create a functioning vascular system that sufficiently supplies the tissue constructs.”
Abdullah Alajati, Anna M Laib, Holger Weber, Anja M Boos, Arne Bartol, Kristian Ikenberg, Thomas Korff, Hanswalter Zentgraf, Cynthia Obodozie, RalphGraeser, Sven Christian, Günter Finkenzeller, G Björn Stark, Mélanie Héroult & Hellmut G Augustin: Spheroid-based engineering of a human vasculature in mice. Nature Methods, April 2008, DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1198
Das Deutsche Krebsforschungszentrum hat die Aufgabe, die Mechanismen der Krebsentstehung systematisch zu untersuchen und Krebsrisikofaktoren zu erfassen. Die Ergebnisse dieser Grundlagenforschung sollen zu neuen Ansätzen in Vorbeugung, Diagnose und Therapie von Krebserkrankungen führen. Das Zentrum wird zu 90 Prozent vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung und zu 10 Prozent vom Land Baden-Württemberg finanziert und ist Mitglied in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e.V.
Dr. Stefanie Seltmann | EurekAlert!
World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering