Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Growth Factor TGF-B Helps Maintain Health Of Retinal Blood Vessels

Date:
April 16, 2009
Source:
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have found that the growth factor known as TGF-B is essential to the health of blood vessels in the retina and that blocking it can cause retinal dysfunction. These findings may have an important impact on the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have found that the growth factor known as TGF-β is essential to the health of blood vessels in the retina and that blocking it can cause retinal dysfunction.

Related Articles


These findings, published in the April 2 issue of PLoS ONE, may have an important impact on the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

"These results are significant because they add to our understanding of the molecules that help to maintain blood vessels in a healthy state," says Patricia D'Amore, PhD, senior scientist at Schepens and principal investigator of the study, who adds that this information may be useful in understanding the changes that occur in the retinal microvasculature prior to the development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

"Insight into the role of this growth factor may also help clinicians monitor the use of systemic drugs targeting TGF-β, which is elevated in a number of conditions (such as cancer and fibrotic diseases) to limit any vision problems that might occur as a side effects." adds Tony Walshe, PhD, the first author of the study and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the D'Amore's laboratory team.

Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body and the site at which oxygen and nutrients are transferred from the blood to the tissues. A capillary is composed of an endothelial cell, which forms the lining of the small tube, and a pericyte, which wraps around the outside of the tube. Scientists have long believed that communication between these two cell types is necessary to maintain blood vessel structure and function.

According to Walshe, the goal of the PLoS ONE study was to determine if TGF-β plays a role in keeping blood vessels functioning normally. In previous experiments using tissue cultures, the D'Amore laboratory had identified TGF-β as a protein that results from the communication between the two cell types and which they use to maintain the health of the small blood vessels. In the current study, the team wanted to confirm that finding in animals.

To do that, they injected mice with a virus that produces large quantities of soluble endoglin, a protein that would circulate, and then bind to and inhibit TGF-β. When they examined the retinas of treated mice, the team found clear evidence that retinal blood vessels were losing their integrity-blood was not moving efficiently through the smaller vessels into the retina tissue, and fluid was leaking out of the vessels, which does not happen when the vessels are functioning properly. These defects led to the death of ganglion cells (nerve cells in the innermost part of the retina) and a loss of visual function.

According to D'Amore and Walshe, the demonstration of the role played by TGF-β is one more piece of a very complex set of controls that keeps blood vessels and the retina healthy.

Future studies are aimed at exploring what other molecules are involved in maintaining healthy blood vessels and how these relate to the development of microvascular diseases.

Other authors of the study include: Magali Saint-Geniez, Arindel SR Maharaj, Eiichi Sekiyama & Angel E. Maldonado, also of the Schepens Eye Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Schepens Eye Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tony E. Walshe, Magali Saint-Geniez, Arindel S. R. Maharaj, Eiichi Sekiyama, Angel E. Maldonado, Patricia A. D'Amore. TGF-β Is Required for Vascular Barrier Function, Endothelial Survival and Homeostasis of the Adult Microvasculature. PLoS ONE, 2009; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005149

Cite This Page:

Schepens Eye Research Institute. "Growth Factor TGF-B Helps Maintain Health Of Retinal Blood Vessels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407174820.htm>.
Schepens Eye Research Institute. (2009, April 16). Growth Factor TGF-B Helps Maintain Health Of Retinal Blood Vessels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407174820.htm
Schepens Eye Research Institute. "Growth Factor TGF-B Helps Maintain Health Of Retinal Blood Vessels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407174820.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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