Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Technique provides new look on response of diseased canine heart

06.07.2005


Using newly available biological technology, researchers have developed the first molecular portrait of multiple gene activity in diseased heart tissue taken from dogs near death from a devastating disease. The discovery sheds new light on the heart’s response to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of large-breed dogs.



New microscopic technology allows researchers to place tens of thousands of genes on 1.5-inch-square slides known as a microarray. In this case, researchers used the GeneChip Canine Genome Array, a newly available commercial microarray specifically designed for dogs and containing more than 23,000 genes. With it, they performed global genome-expression profiling to focus on the transcription (the level of genetic coding into messenger RNA) of the genes taken from five healthy dogs and two Dobermans with DCM.

In the affected dogs, 478 transcripts were significantly different from those in the tissue of the control animals. Of these transcripts, 173 were increased (up regulated) while 305 were lowered (down regulated). From this pool, the researchers identified 167 genes that may play a role in the development and progression of DCM.


The findings of the work, which was done at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and the State University of New York at Albany, are reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

"Finding altered activity of a gene doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a cause of the disease," said Mark A. Oyama, a veterinary cardiologist in the department of veterinary clinical medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "What a gene microarray tells us is more about the overall patterns of disease and how the heart responds to it. Genes that are up or down regulated may be the root cause, but we don’t know that. What this experiment really does is narrow down the population of 23,000-plus genes to those that we should study in more detail."

Oyama and co-author Sridar Chittur of the Center for Functional Genomics at the State University of New York at Albany separated the 167 identified genes into eight categories to help them interpret the heart’s response to DCM.

They noted that pathways involved in cellular energy production, cell structure and signaling/communication generally were down regulated, while those tied to cellular defense and stress responses were up regulated. Among the 167 genes they identified were several that may play a significant role in DCM.

The miniaturization of technology, Oyama said, has made it possible to look at thousands of genes at once, rather than the tedious, time-consuming gene-by-gene analysis required until recently. The new microarray technology, much of it developed for human medicine, he added, is allowing veterinary researchers to begin looking more closely at animal diseases, especially in increasingly popular breeds.

"It has been estimated that more than 40 percent of all Doberman pinschers are going to get DCM as they age," Oyama said. "It is progressive and invariably fatal."

DCM typically occurs as dogs reach middle age, causing the heart to enlarge and lose its strength. Dobermans, Great Danes and boxers are predisposed to the disease, but it also commonly strikes the Scottish deerhound, Newfoundland, Irish wolfhound and golden and Labrador retrievers.

"We don’t know the root cause. In people, several different genetic abnormalities have been identified. We suspect a similar cause in dogs," Oyama said. "But we don’t really know what’s going on in the heart muscle. We also don’t have a very good idea about the changes occurring in heart muscle cells once the disease starts. The body responds by activating a whole cascade of events that cause the progression of the disease. By better understanding which genes are turned on and which genes are turned off, we can begin to think about manipulating the sequence of events to stop or reverse the disease."

The researchers are now sampling a larger population of dogs so that a more sophisticated analysis can be done. "We want to understand the morphology of DCM and the pathways of genes that are crucial in the development and progression of the disease," Oyama said. "We are looking at everything that’s going on all at the same time in all of the genes. Our approach kind of uses a wide-angle lens rather than a microscope. If we can better understand what the heart is doing, we may be able to arrest the disease."

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease
19.11.2018 | University of Oxford

nachricht Controlling organ growth with light
19.11.2018 | European Molecular Biology Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>