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 The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

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...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

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...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

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...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

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....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>