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Neurons Modulate the Growth of Blood Vessels

First Hampered, Then Released: Nerve cells regulate the density of blood vessel network dynamical-ly by fine modulation of signaling molecules
Hochgradig verzweigtes Netz aus Blutgefäßen um das Rückenmark eines Zebrafischembryos. (Bild: le Noble / KIT)
Severely hyperbranched vascular network surrounding the spinal cord (red dotted box) of zebrafish embryo – blood vessels in white (Bild: le Noble/KIT)

A team of researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) shake at the foundations of a dogma of cell biology. By detailed series of experiments, they proved that blood vessel growth is modulated by neurons and not, as assumed so far, through a control mechanism of the vessel cells among each other. The results are groundbreaking for research into and treatment of vascular diseases, tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases. The study will be published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

“Our work is pure basic research,“ Professor Ferdinand le Noble of KIT’s Zoological Institute says, “but provides a completely new perspective on how blood vessels grow, branch out, or are inhibited in their growth.” For decades, researchers have been looking for ways to promote or impede the formation of new blood vessels. Whereas heart attack and stroke patients would profit from new arteries, cancer patients would benefit from tumor starving by putting a stop to ingrowing blood vessels.



Further informationen in the Press Release 002/2017.


bsb, 10.01.2017