A lot of complex diseases are caused due to narrowing blood vessels, but researchers have finally found a way to regenerate blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels by signalling a pathway that is necessary to stimulate growth of blood vessels.
There are thousands of diseases that root from narrowing blood vessels, but so far there have not been an effective way to treat these infected vessels, at least there wasn’t a way to regenerate them – until now. A discovery was made by researchers representing Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), led by Dr. Masanobu Komatsu might change the way these peripheral vascular diseases are treated. They have identified a signalling pathway that is essential for the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels – and hence repair damaged and infected blood vessels. With this method, medics might be help in revising strategies to improve flow of blood in ischemic tissue.
So basically, the formation of new blood vessels need activation of protein kinase Akt and the activation needs to be done by a protein called R-Ras. After activation, the hallow structured lumen aka blood vessels can be formed. So generating new blood vessels is like growing trees from seeds. Sprouts are capable of growing themselves from seeds, similarly, blood vessels can grow from pre-existing vessels and branch out further and further to restore blood flow network and vascularity in body.
The challenge was to activate Akt protein by R-Ras protein and the study showed that they have found distinct steps and signals which can control the process of activation. Associate researcher Fangfei Li said, “First, VEGF activates Akt to induce endothelial cells to sprout. Then, R-Ras activates Akt to induce lumen formation. The second step involving Akt activation by R-Ras stabilizes the microtubule cytoskeleton in endothelial cells, creating a steady architecture that promotes lumen formation”. These findings can help in curing many narrowing heart diseases as well as peripheral vascular diseases associated with diabetes – it is just amazing.