Arteries such as the aorta actively transport oxygenated blood, nutrients and cells throughout the body to keep our tissues functioning normally. Damage to the arteries can result in life-threatening cardiovascular diseases. A major type of damage involves hardening or stiffening of the vessel walls. This phenomenon, known as arterial stiffness, results in raised blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and aneurysm. However, the causes of arterial stiffness are still largely unknown.
A team of researchers at NUS Medicine, led by Associate Professor Veronique Angeli, has identified a population of cells called macrophages that coat the outer walls of healthy arteries and express a protein called LYVE-1.
The researchers found that when these cells were absent, arteries accumulate collagen and lose their elasticity, becoming stiff and inflexible.
These findings suggested that the macrophages protect our arteries from becoming stiff, a concept that the team proceeded to prove.
They showed that the macrophages interact with another type of cell residing in the artery called smooth muscle cells, which produce collagen. The interaction between the two types of cell reduces the production of collagen by the smooth muscle cells.
Associate Professor Angeli and team showed that the LYVE-1 protein on the macrophages is actually responsible for this protective effect.
LYVE-1 binds to a molecule called hyaluronan expressed at the surface of smooth muscle cells and this interaction is required for the degradation of collagen by an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9).
The work has clinical implications for both aging and cardiovascular diseases because arterial stiffness is associated with aging and precedes cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and aneurysm.
This knowledge should help in the development of new treatments or the improvement of existing treatments for arterial diseases.
Justine LAI | EurekAlert!
Nitric oxide-scavenging hydrogel developed for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
06.06.2019 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.
Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...
Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.
Research always means trying things out and daring to do new things. Research institutes, universities, and SMEs do not produce in large batches, but rather...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
14.06.2019 | Information Technology
14.06.2019 | Materials Sciences
14.06.2019 | Medical Engineering