Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New blood-vessel-generating cell with therapeutic potential discovered

Date:
October 16, 2012
Source:
University of Helsinki
Summary:
Researchers in Finland believe they have discovered stem cells that play a decisive role in new blood vessel growth. These stem cells found in blood vessel walls may offer new opportunities in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and many other diseases.

This shows functional blood vessels formed in vivo in mouse by transplanted daughter cells of one single adut vascular endothelial stem cell. The endothelial cells of the cell transplant are genetically tagged by green fluorescent protein to enable their recognition and tracking in the wild type recipient animal.
Credit: Image by Petri Salvén Laboratory. Copyright: University of Helsinki

Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, believe they have discovered stem cells that play a decisive role in new blood vessel growth. If researchers learn to isolate and efficiently produce these stem cells found in blood vessel walls, the cells offer new opportunities in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and many other diseases.

Related Articles


The study will be published Oct. 16, 2012 in the online journal PLOS Biology.

The growth of new blood vessels, also known as angiogenesis, is needed in adults when repairing damaged tissue or organs. Unfortunately, malignant tumours are also capable of growing new blood vessels to receive oxygen and nutrients. In other words, the treatment of diseases would benefit from two types of methods: ones that help launch the process of angiogenesis and ones that make it possible to prevent the process. Medications that prevent the growth of new blood vessels have already been introduced, but their effectiveness and long-term efficacy leave much to be desired.

For more than a decade, Adjunct Professor Petri Salvén from the University of Helsinki has studied the mechanisms of angiogenesis to discover how blood vessel growth could be prevented or accelerated effectively. He has examined the birth and origin of endothelial cells, which form the thin layer that lines the interior surface of blood vessels. Endothelial cells are necessary for new blood vessel growth. Where do these highly diversified cells come from? Can their production be prevented or increased?

For a long time, it was assumed that new cells in the blood vessel walls of an adult originate in the bone marrow. In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2008, Salvén's research team showed that such stem cells were not found in bone marrow.

Now Salvén is ready to reveal where these mysterious stem cells originate. His team's new study will be published in the PLOS Biology journal on 16 October 2012.

"We succeeded in isolating endothelial cells with a high rate of division in the blood vessel walls of mice. We found these same cells in human blood vessels and blood vessels growing in malignant tumours in humans. These cells are known as vascular endothelial stem cells, abbreviated as VESC. In a cell culture, one such cell is able to produce tens of millions of new blood vessel wall cells," Salvén explains.

"Our study shows that these important stem cells can be found as single cells among ordinary endothelial cells in blood vessel walls. When the process of angiogenesis is launched, these cells begin to produce new blood vessel wall cells."

The effects of new endothelial stem cells have also been tested in mice. The results show that the growth of new blood vessels weakens and the growth of malignant tumours slows if the amount of these cells in the organism is below normal. Correspondingly, a high number of new blood vessels quickly emerge where new stem cells are implanted.

Identifying stem cells among other blood vessel wall cells is challenging and time-consuming. Salvén and his team managed to identify a few molecular surface structures that make it easier to trace these stem cells. However, the efficiency of the identification process needs to be enhanced.

"If we can find more molecules that are characteristic of the surface structure of these rare cells, it is possible that we can increase the efficiency and accuracy of the cell isolation process by more than tenfold. This would enable numbers that are sufficient for cell transplant treatments for humans," says Salvén.

Plenty of potential treatment applications

"The identification and isolation of an entirely new adult stem cell type is a significant discovery in stem cell biology. Endothelial stem cells in blood vessels are particularly interesting, because they offer great potential for applications in practical medicine and the treatment of patients," says Salvén.

If an efficient method to produce endothelial stem cells can be developed, they will offer new treatment opportunities in situations where damaged tissue or diseases call for new blood vessel growth or where the constriction or dysfunction of blood vessels deprives tissues of oxygen. These cells also offer new opportunities for developing medications that seek to prevent new blood vessel growth in malignant tumours.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Shentong Fang, Jing Wei, Nalle Pentinmikko, Hannele Leinonen, Petri Salven. Generation of Functional Blood Vessels from a Single c-kit Adult Vascular Endothelial Stem Cell. PLoS Biology, 2012; 10 (10): e1001407 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001407

Cite This Page:

University of Helsinki. "New blood-vessel-generating cell with therapeutic potential discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016173127.htm>.
University of Helsinki. (2012, October 16). New blood-vessel-generating cell with therapeutic potential discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016173127.htm
University of Helsinki. "New blood-vessel-generating cell with therapeutic potential discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016173127.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