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Protein causes varicose veins
Date:11/4/2011

deling processes.

Model allows agents to be tested

"Nevertheless, the cellular mechanisms that control the formation of varicose veins appear to be similar to mechanisms that orchestrate the remodeling of arteries in patients with high blood pressure," Korff explains. The transcription factor AP-1 which regulates the activity of certain genes and thus the corresponding protein production is regulated by the filling pressure in the blood vessels and in turn controls the formation of varicose veins, Korff adds. If AP-1 is inhibited, thus prohibiting it from activating genes, the characteristic corkscrew-like varicose veins do not form and cell proliferation and the production of enzymes that break down connective tissue remain at normal levels.

In a further experiment, the group showed that the results obtained in the mouse are also valid for humans. Varicose veins that have been surgically removed from patients exhibited the same cellular and molecular changes as the varicose veins created artificially in the mouse ear. Based on these results, Korff plans more studies. "Using our model, we can now more precisely analyze the early stages of the disorder and test possible drugs for their ability to prevent varicose vein formation, which, as a result, may improve the quality of life of afflicted patients."

According to the German Vascular League, 30 million people suffer from minor vein-related symptoms, whereby women are affected around twice as often as men. According to a health report published by the German government, 15 to 20 percent of the population has varicose veins.


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Contact: Dr. Gerd Koenig
gerd.koenig@physiologie.uni-heidelberg.de
49-622-154-4067
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert

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