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Protein injection triggers vessel repair

Retina blood lines regrow when treated with angiopoietin-1

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5:00pm, September 20, 2013
Vessel Growth
GLIMPSING VESSEL GROWTH Diseased blood vessels regrow when treated with the protein angiopoietin-1, a new study shows.
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Once stifled by disease, blood vessels that feed the eye’s retina flourish anew when dosed with the protein angiopoietin-1, researchers report in the Sept. 18 Science Translational Medicine.

In mice with retinopathy, a condition that causes tissue damage in the eye and can lead to blindness, a single injection of angiopoietin-1 into the eye triggers the release of the protein fibronectin (right, green), which fuels the growth of blood vessels (right, red) toward the retina. Researchers hope the protein will one day work as a treatment for retinopathy in people.

Editor's note: This article was updated on September 23, 2013, to give the correct location of the injection and to clarify that fibronectin is a protein.

Citations

J. Lee et al. Angiopoietin-1 guides directional angiogenesis through integrin avb5 signaling for recovery of ischemic retinopathy. Science Translational Medicine, Vol. 5, September 18, 2013, doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3006666.

Further Reading

N. Seppa. Controlling blood sugar may prevent eye problems in diabetes patients. Science News. Posted online June 29, 2010. [Go to]

L. Sanders. Retina can help reveal brain health. Science News. Vol. 181, April 21, 2012, p.11. [Go to]

N. Seppa. Dark side of a blood builder: hormone linked to diabetic blindness. Science News. Vol. 168, August 27, 2005, p. 133. [Go to]

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