Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tadpole Soon To Help In The Fight Against Cancer And Lymphedema

Date:
August 16, 2005
Source:
VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology
Summary:
Lymph circulates in our bodies through a complex network of lymphatic vessels, of which little is known. This network is, however, of major importance for the support of the immune system and the fluid in our body. Researchers from VIB are the first to indicate that this network can be studied with the help of tadpoles. This accelerates research of the lymphatic vessel network.

Leuven, Belgium -- Lymph circulates in our bodies through a complexnetwork of lymphatic vessels, of which little is known. This networkis, however, of major importance for the support of the immune systemand the fluid in our body. Researchers from the FlandersInteruniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected with theCatholic University of Leuven, are the first to indicate that thisnetwork can be studied with the help of tadpoles. This acceleratesresearch of the lymphatic vessel network. With tadpoles one can nowvery quickly identify new genes that play a part in the development andfunctioning of the lymphatic vessel network. This is a first step inthe search for solutions for illnesses related to the lymphatic vesselnetwork, such as cancer and lymphedema.

Lymph: a very important colorless fluid

Fluid and proteinsleak out of the blood vessels during blood circulation in the body. Anetwork of lymphatic vessels catches this extravasated colorless fluid,lymph, and transports it back to the blood vessel network. Thelymphatic vessel network is of major importance. It is essential forregulating fluid in the body and for the support of the immune systemthat protects us from pathogenic organisms. Faults in the making orfunctioning of this network cause many disorders, such as inflammatoryand infectious diseases and lymphedema (a swelling caused by waterretention). On the other hand, a well-functioning lymphatic vesselnetwork can simplify the spread of cancer cells. A thoroughunderstanding of this network is thus essential for seeking a solutionfor these diseases.

The search for a suitable model system

As far back as in1627 Gasparo Asellius discovered the lymphatic vessels as 'milkyveins'. Yet the lymphatic network has not been studied much until nowand is therefore as good as unknown, quite amazing seeing itsimportance for our health. One of the reasons for this lack of study isthe fact that there was not a good model system until now. Lymphaticvessels can be studied in mice but this takes time and is extremelycomplex. Moreover, a study of mice only enables the examination of geneper gene, which complicates revealing the combined action betweenvarious genetic factors. For efficient research smaller model organismsare used, such as the zebrafish, which is popular in the study of theblood vessel system. But the zebrafish also offers little comfort, asit does not have any lymphatic vessels.

In the early 20th century studies suggested that tadpoles dohave lymphatic vessels. This urged Peter Carmeliet and his researchgroup to examine whether tadpoles can form a suitable model system forthe study of the lymphatic vessel network. Tadpoles can easily begenetically modified, which is why they are an ideal model system inwhich it is relatively easy to identify genes that are important in thedevelopment of complex biological structures like lymphatic vessels.

Unraveling the lymphatic vessel system through tadpoles

Withtheir research, the research group op Peter Carmeliet indicated thattadpoles are extremely suitable for the study of lymphatic vessels. Todo this they used Prox1, a protein that is essential for the formationof lymphatic vessels. With the help of coloration techniques theyvisualized the areas in tadpoles where Prox1 is made: the lymphaticvessels. With the same coloration techniques the researchers indicatedthat the development of lymphatic vessels in tadpoles is comparable tomice and humans. A second part of their research was altering tadpolesin such a way that they make much less Prox1 than normal tadpoles. Thisresulted in a badly developed lymphatic vessel system, because of whichthe tadpoles showed signs of lymphedema. It did not have any effect onthe blood vessel system.

With these results the VIB researchers are the first to provethat tadpoles are perfect model organisms for the study of lymphaticvessels. In the future tadpoles can be used to identify genes that areimportant for the development of this complex network. This paves theway for the search for solutions for illnesses caused by faults in thelymphatic vessel network.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology. "Tadpole Soon To Help In The Fight Against Cancer And Lymphedema." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814161703.htm>.
VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology. (2005, August 16). Tadpole Soon To Help In The Fight Against Cancer And Lymphedema. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814161703.htm
VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology. "Tadpole Soon To Help In The Fight Against Cancer And Lymphedema." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814161703.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins