Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique protein organization in arteries associated with cardiovascular disease

Date:
January 12, 2012
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have now used advanced 3-D microscopic imaging technology to identify and monitor the proteins involved in the artery stiffening process. These findings could eventually help researchers and physicians understand and treat complications associated with cardiovascular disease.

Human arteries -- some smaller than a strand of hair -- stiffen as a person ages. This stiffening is a factor in cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, because it contributes to the circulatory complications in disorders such as high blood pressure and diabetes. University of Missouri researchers have now used advanced 3-D microscopic imaging technology to identify and monitor the proteins involved in this stiffening process. These findings could eventually help researchers and physicians understand and treat complications associated with cardiovascular disease.

"A majority of the scientific knowledge of how blood vessels are put together is based on older methodologies that only measured the amount of protein in the artery wall and not how the proteins were architecturally arranged to support artery functions," said Gerald Meininger, director of the MU Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology. "We used state-of-the-art imaging technology and computer-based models to visualize the minute structural elements within an intact blood vessel and found that one of the proteins, elastin, plays a key role in supporting the ability of the arterial wall to properly function."

As people age, the level of elastin diminishes and other proteins, such as collagen, contribute to altering the arterial stiffness. The researchers believe that learning how to alter elastin levels may alleviate some of the detrimental results associated with vascular aging, such as high blood pressure.

"When people think of blood vessels, they tend to think of rigid pipes, but blood vessels are very dynamic because they continually expand and contract to adjust blood flow and blood pressure to meet the body's needs," said Michael Hill, also of the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and Professor of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology. "Elastin production peaks at a very young age and declines throughout life. Molecular biologists are trying to determine how to turn elastin production back on in the correct places, but it has proven very difficult so far."

The MU researchers believe the knowledge also may be used in future efforts to develop artificial vascular structures to improve tissue replacement. Blood vessels sometimes fail during the tissue replacement process, and understanding how vessels are built and change could lead to a better success rate.

The study, "Spatial Distribution and Mechanical Function of Elastin in Resistance Arteries," was published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. S. Clifford, S. R. Ella, A. J. Stupica, Z. Nourian, M. Li, L. A. Martinez-Lemus, K. A. Dora, Y. Yang, M. J. Davis, U. Pohl, G. A. Meininger, M. A. Hill. Spatial Distribution and Mechanical Function of Elastin in Resistance Arteries: A Role in Bearing Longitudinal Stress. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2011; 31 (12): 2889 DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.236570

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Unique protein organization in arteries associated with cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109145909.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2012, January 12). Unique protein organization in arteries associated with cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109145909.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Unique protein organization in arteries associated with cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109145909.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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