Navigation Links
Medical breakthrough for organ transplants and cardiovascular diseases by Flemish researchers
Date:1/6/2008

Leuven, Belgium - When a blood vessel clogs up, a localized deficiency of oxygen results, causing the surrounding tissue to die. However, working with mice, VIB scientists connected to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have been able to prevent muscular tissue with severe hypoxia from dying. The muscles seem to adapt to the lack of oxygen - a metabolic tour de force that animals also use when hibernating, but that has remained a mystery until now. For the medical world, this discovery signifies an important step forward in limiting damage after a heart attack, for example, or for better preservation of organs awaiting transplants.

No life without oxygen - but oxygen can also be harmful

Oxygen is necessary to life. Humans and animals use oxygen to convert fats and sugars into the energy that keeps all life processes running and maintains the bodys temperature. At the same time, oxygen can also be harmful when it is converted into toxic oxygen particles that cause serious damage to tissues and organs.

What about a little less?

Some animals can survive in places with little oxygen. Birds at high altitudes, for example, or animals that live underground or that can dive under water for a long time. Hibernating animals turn their bodily processes down low and live with a reduced amount of oxygen.

We can detect changes in the amount of oxygen with certain sensors. These oxygen meters are essential in adapting the bodys metabolism during the changeover from an oxygen-rich to an oxygen-deficient environment.

Oxygen meter PHD1 plays crucial role

Julin Aragons, Martin Schneider, Katie Van Geyte and Peter Fraisl - under the direction of Peter Carmeliet - have studied the role of the PHD1 oxygen meter. To do this, they used knock-out mice that were unable to produce PHD1. They found that blocking an artery in these mice - thus obstructing the oxygen supply to the muscle - did not lead to the death of the surrounding muscular tissue. This was a very surprising result, since the muscle received too little oxygen to survive under normal circumstances. In the mice lacking the PHD1 oxygen meter, the tissue apparently reprogrammed itself by means of a metabolic shift, so that the muscle needed less oxygen in order to continue to function. Furthermore, less oxygen in the muscle meant fewer toxic oxygen particles and thus less damage. So, the muscle could use the little oxygen that was available in a better and safer manner. These alterations enabled the muscle to stay perfectly healthy in these normally life-threatening conditions. In addition, the researchers also demonstrated that treating healthy mice even briefly with a PHD1-blocker could protect the muscles against oxygen deficiency - which opens a path to new therapies.

New therapeutic possibilities?

These findings have significant implications for several medical applications. Scientists can now begin to investigate whether PHD1-blockers can prevent the damage caused by blockage of a blood vessel through thrombosis or after a heart attack (in which the cardiac muscle experiences a shortage of oxygen). New treatment alternatives may also be possible for strokes, and surgeons may also be able to reduce the oxygen supply to organs for a longer period of time during many types of operations.

The absence of PHD1 might also explain the mysterious adaptations of hibernating animals, with important implications for the preservation of organs for transplant. Such tissues often have to contend with prolonged oxygen deficiency, which destroys their viability for transplantation. If these organs could be kept in a hibernation condition, perhaps more lives could be saved...


'/>"/>

Contact: Joke Comijn
joke.comijn@vib.be
329-244-6611
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UVa biomedical engineering study shows magnetic field can reduce swelling
2. New report finds great potential for Swedish medical technology
3. Titanium Group Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Multimilion Dollar Medical Software Company and Its Existing Sales Network
4. Titanium Group Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Multimilion Dollar Medical Software Company and Its Existing Sales Network
5. Triage study challenges notions of emergency medical response to disaster
6. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
7. UMass Medical School researchers receive $8.5M grant award to fight AIDS
8. Phase 2 of Singapores Biomedical Sciences Initiative gains momentum for clinical research
9. 3 Columbia University Medical Center faculty elected to Institute of Medicine
10. USC biomedical team to participate in $6 million low vision project
11. $22 million gift from Alfred Taubman launches new biomedical research institute
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted ... quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share ... operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Cell therapies for a ... accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) that yielded a newly patented ... regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI faculty members Raymond Page, PhD, ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, ... for corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event ... San Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... ... blood donations in South Texas and across the nation is growing. , But according to ... are on the decline. In fact, donations across the country are at their lowest point ... the last four years alone. , There is no substitute for blood. , “We want ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... Board of Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly ... The cash dividend of $0.24 per share ... stockholders of record as of the close of business on ... approval of the Board of Directors and may be adjusted ...
Breaking Biology Technology: