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首页 » Nature报道 » 《Nature》:对眼部血管的研究为治疗多种疾病提供帮助

《Nature》:对眼部血管的研究为治疗多种疾病提供帮助

来源:教育部科技发展中心 2006-10-25 09:16

来自Aberdeen大学的研究人员和其他小组合作,找到了一个困扰科学家数个世纪难题的答案。他们的研究结果发表在10月19日的《Nature》上。小组报道了他们找到了阻止角膜形成血管的分子。这是一个突破,因为了解阻止血管形成的过程能帮助科学家研制治疗多种疾病的药物,以及发展治疗眼部疾病和损伤的方法。

Aberdeen大学讲师Martin  Collinson说:“发现这些分子很让人兴奋。很多科学家在研究角膜,希望能找到血管是怎样形成的以及如何阻止这一过程。我们的结果能帮助治疗癌症、心脏病、风湿性关节炎、中风和眼部疾病等。”

角膜是我们看世界的窗户——如果角膜含有血管的话,它将变得不再透明,我们就看不到任何东西。如果观察人类眼睛,你会发现在白色的巩膜上有血管存在,而角膜却没有。

Collinson表示:“没人知道这是为什么。人们研究为什么角膜没有血管的问题已经很久了——从古希腊和古印度开始。很奇怪的是,我们知道促进血管生长的化学物质叫做VEGF-A,它在角膜中无处不在。”

但是研究人员发现,一种叫做VEGFR1——又叫s-ftl1的受体像海绵一样吸收了VGEF-A,因此使角膜没有血管生长。

疾病或外伤会导致角膜血管生长,类似的过程在癌症中也存在,正是由于血管生长肿瘤才能长大。Collinson说:“我们发现VEGFR-1的减少导致了角膜中血管的生长,这为我们提供了治疗多种疾病的方法。”

英文原文:

Eye research breakthrough yields new clues for treating diseases

An international research team has made a discovery about an eye function that could pave the way for better therapies for a wide range of diseases including cancer.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen were involved in the collaboration that has discovered the answer to a query that has puzzled scientists for centuries.

In groundbreaking research published today in Nature, the team report that they have identified the molecule found in the eye that prevents blood vessels forming in the cornea. This is a major breakthrough because understanding what inhibits the growth of blood vessels, could help with the development of drugs to curb a number of key diseases.

It could also lead to new therapies for treating eyes diseases and eye injuries.

Dr Martin Collinson, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, said: “It is an amazing finding to have identified the molecule that prevents blood vessels from growing in the cornea.

“The cornea is widely used by scientists who hope to study how blood vessels grow or how to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels. This knowledge will help to treat diseases like cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and eye disorders like macular degeneration.”

The cornea is our window on the world – if it contained blood vessels it would not be transparent and we would not be able to see. If you study a normal eye you will see blood vessels in the whites of the eye but these stop at the cornea.

Dr Collinson said: “No-one has ever really known why. People have been wondering why the cornea is avascular – or free from blood vessels – since the days of the Ancient Greek and Indian physicians.

“There is a real paradox here in that the chemical that makes blood vessels grow is called VEGF-A. Ironically the corneal is full of this chemical so what is going on?”

The researchers discovered that a receptor called soluble VEGFR1 – also known as s-ftl1 – acts as a sponge and mops up all the VGEF-A which would otherwise make blood vessels grow into the cornea.

Disease or injury can cause the cornea to vascularise - or form blood vessels. Vascularisation is also important for diseases like cancer, as tumours are able to grow because of their ability to attract blood vessels.

Dr Collinson added: “In this paper it has been possible to show that vascularisation in genetically diseased corneas is associated with loss of this important receptor VEGFR-1. What gives us great hope for therapeutic strategies is that it appears that blood vessels in diseased corneas can be easily regressed by giving them this missing protein back.”

The research involved collaboration between leading institutions and organisations across America, in Japan, Italy and Australia. The University of Aberdeen was the only UK organisation involved. 
 


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