Cardiovascular disease: blood aging vessels

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common causes of death in the Western world. Researchers have now taken the molecular processes involved in such diseases on the basis of a specific genetic disease under the microscope. Your results might help to understand natural processes of aging of the cardiovascular system.

One of the most common causes of death

Cardiovascular diseases lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart failure, and are among the most common causes of death in modern industrial countries. Researchers from Austria, it is now the molecular mechanisms succeeded in deciphering cardiovascular disease in the context of the genetic disease Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome (Progeria). Their results were published in the journal “The Journal of Clinical Investigation” (JCI).

Constant mechanical stress

Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack are among the most common causes of death in Western countries.

As the Medical University (MedUni) of Vienna, in a communication, the exact molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases is still unclear.

However, it is known that malfunctions in the endothelial are at the beginning of this disease.

The endothelium is a cell layer that lines the inner walls of blood vessels. These cells are exposed to blood flow continuous mechanical stress.

In healthy cells, a braid in the cell nucleus, called the Lamina, and the Cytoskeleton supports the cell and helps to maintain your stability and strength. Thus, changing mechanical loads can be absorbed by the blood pressure.

Loads of blood flow

Scientists at the University of Vienna, the MedUni Vienna, the Ludwig Boltzmann-cluster for Cardiovascular research and the Boku Vienna is now described for the first time, and how this cellular structure is in a Progeria model organisms affected.

This is caused in the cell abnormal mechanical responses, resulting in excessive connective tissue in blood vessels is formed.

“The accumulation of the disease-causing, mutant proteins in cells of the endothelium to make the Lamina rigid and static, resulting in high mechanical Stress is caused, which prevents that the endothelium responds correctly to changing loads of blood flow,” explains first author Selma Osmanagic-Myers.

“This, in turn, activates cellular signalling pathways, fibrosis, vascular hardening and cardiovascular cause Hyperactivity.”

Extremely fast aging due to genetic defect

The results are based on studies in Progeria model organisms. This genetic hereditary disease was known to a wider Public, as the 17-year-old Hayley Okines of England died.

The girl suffered from Progeria and was in young years an “old woman”.

The disease should also have the makers of the film “The curious case of Benjamin Button” inspired. In it Brad Pitt is coming as Old man and is getting younger.

Hope for new therapies

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common and life most threatening Symptom of the disease. They are caused by mutations in the Gene LMNA, which result in the production of a mutant Lamin’s called Progerin.

Head of the research group Roland Foisner shows, therefore, is optimistic: “A better understanding of the molecular Defects that lead to cardiovascular disease in Progeria, will help to develop new therapies that prevent, improve the living conditions of patients and early death due to cardiac arrest.”

And further: “During most of the previous studies, Defects of the muscle vasculature, cells of the blood in Progeria have found, we show that the malfunction of the endothelium contribute to fibrosis and heart problems,” said the scientist.

Bruno Podesser, a cardiologist at the Medical University of Vienna, adds: “Interestingly, the Progeria-causing can be found at the end of Lamin often also in normal aged organisms, however, in lower concentrations.”

Therefore, the cardiovascular diseases of the “normal aged” people to those of Progeria patients are similar.

“The study thus gives insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms in the context of the error response to mechanical Stress due to blood flow, such as occurs to the curves of aged arteries are liable,” said Podesser.

Therefore, the study offers an explanation for cardiovascular disease in a Progeria at the molecular level, and could also help to explain the processes of normal aging of the blood vessels. (ad)