Navigation Links
Scientists discover genetic switch that increases muscle blood supply
Date:3/1/2011

Many people suffer from a devastating condition known as critical limb ischemia (CLI) that can lead to muscle wasting and even amputation. The disease is linked to the blockage of blood flow to the skeletal muscle and current treatment options include rehabilitative exercise and surgical bypass of blood vessels. New preclinical research suggests there may be a way to restore blood supply in skeletal muscle without traditional intervention.

Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies announced in the March 2 print issue of the journal Cell Metabolism that they have identified a genetic switch that can increase the number of blood vessels in the skeletal muscle of non-exercising mice.

Skeletal muscle is composed of two types of fibers: slow twitch fibers that inherently have a dense supply of blood vessels and fast twitch fibers that have fewer blood vessels. The researchers used a gene switch known as estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERR gamma) that when activated in fast twitch fibers of mice by genetic engineering, converts these fibers into slow twitch fibers.

"This consequently resulted in a striking increase in muscle blood supply as measured by imaging and angiography," said Vihang Narkar, Ph.D., lead investigator and assistant professor of molecular medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. "These genetically-transformed muscles also acquire other characteristics of slow muscles, such as improved metabolic capacity and fatigue resistance that can be additionally beneficial in resolving muscle vascular disease."

Narkar, whose UTHealth laboratory is in the Center for Diabetes and Obesity Research at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases, said, "The identification of the estrogen-related receptor gamma vascular switch will open potential therapeutic avenues for treating CLI and other cardiovascular diseases linked to defective blood supply."

Colin Barker, M.D., assistant professor of cardiology at the UTHealth Medical School, said new research is needed to help people with peripheral artery disease, particularly those with the most severe form - critical limb ischemia. "Poor circulation in the legs can lead to muscle wasting, infections, severe pain and amputation," he said. "Dr. Narkar's work potentially has many useful applications. It is very much in the translational medicine arena."

"Understanding the gene network that specifies high vascular supply to muscle gives us a new and very powerful tool to promote improved muscle performance and the promise of fitness, especially for those who cannot work out," says Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., senior author, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor in the Salk's Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory. "This is good news for people with heart disease, frailty, peripheral vascular disease and more generally those who have a variety of medical problems where exercise could be helpful but is not possible to achieve."

In 2010, an estimated 2.8 to 3.5 million U.S. citizens suffered from critical limb ischemia, according to a report by THE SAGE GROUP, an independent research and consulting company specializing in peripheral artery disease. CLI risk factors include diabetes, obesity and smoking.

"Exercise is an important part of any intervention strategy to prevent or treat diabetes mellitus and obesity," said Perry Bickel, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the UTHealth Medical School and director of the UTHealth Center for Diabetes and Obesity Research. "Results by Drs. Narkar and Evans support the notion that in the future we may be able to design drugs that produce the benefits of exercise in order to counteract the damage that diabetes and obesity cause to the body, such as blockages of blood vessels."

Narkar and Evans collaborated on a highly-publicized study published in the journal Cell in 2008 in which they used two investigational exercise mimetic drugs GW1516 and AICAR to increase the endurance of non-exercising mice. These drugs target different genetic switches, namely PPAR delta and AMPK.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rob Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Signaling path in brain may prevent that Im full message, UT Southwestern scientists discover
2. Scientists unravel the mysterious mechanics of spider silk
3. Queens University scientists behind safer drinking water in US
4. Scientists identify new implications for perennial bioenergy crops
5. University of Miami scientists track great hammerhead shark migration
6. Scientists find a new way insulin-producing cells die
7. TCD scientists discover that self-eating cells safeguard against cancer
8. MIT scientists say ocean currents cause microbes to filter light
9. Even in a crowd, you remain unique, UCLA life scientists report
10. Gender gap: Selection bias snubs scholarly achievements of female scientists
11. Brown scientists to discuss best practices for the oceans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists discover genetic switch that increases muscle blood supply
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... 2021 from $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound ... 2021. Report Includes - An overview of the ... trends, with data from 2015 and 2016, and projections ... Segmentation of the market on the basis of product ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... 2017 According to Acuity Market Intelligence, ... authorities to continue to embrace biometric and digital ... Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and 1436 Automated ... than 163 ports of entry across the globe. ... a combined CAGR of 37%. APC Kiosks reached ...
(Date:2/2/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based identity ... What You Should Know About Biometrics in the Cloud ... is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, cryptography is ... authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from inherent weaknesses. ... an elegant solution to the problem of high-security user ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017 UCHealth ( ... utilize LungDirect for pulmonary nodule patient management. In addition ... or a spot on the lung, UCHealth looks to ... manual data entry. Stephanie Brown, RN ... my nodule patients with an Excel spreadsheet, which was ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Champions Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... sale of advanced technology solutions and products to personalize ... the addition of new cohorts of PDX models to ... will expand Champions, product line in hepatocellular cancer, breast ... AML, and non-small cell lung cancer (including EGFR mutation; ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... WARRINGTON, Pa. , Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a biotechnology company focusing on developing aerosolized KL4 ... data from a preclinical influenza study showed that ... overall survival in a well-established preclinical animal model. ... to a growing body of evidence that supports ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... YORK , Feb. 16, 2017 Paradigm ... Series B financing, adding an additional $3M from New ... Mesa Verde Venture Partners and other strategic partners at ... towards further accelerating commercial adoption of their flagship Paradigm ... and expanding the Paradigm cancer registry. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: