Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Research Yeilds Answers on Aortic Arch Defect Causes

By The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Research led by University of Pittsburgh scientists is the first to describe how two common congenital circulatory problems form, the university announced today.

The team found that a gene called unc45a plays a critical and previously unknown role in the formation of aortic arch vessels. The vessels contribute to several of the body's major arteries and often develop improperly, causing a wide range of vascular defects.

The team also found that arteriovenous malformations, or AVMs, happen when an artery fuses with a vein, diverting blood flow, and result from genetic and physiological factors. Previously doctors had believed its origins were solely genetic.

The research is published in the journal Developmental Biology. Scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health also participated.

1 comment:

Sarah Clark said...

I haven't read the whole thing yet, but the abstract is intriguing, and I'm going to get a copy of the whole thing from our local medical library--for bedtime reading if nothing else! If you want to take a look at this (highly complicated/technical article), the citation is:

Matthew J. Anderson, Van N. Pham, Andreas M. Vogel, Brant M. Weinstein, Beth L. Roman. "Loss of unc45a precipitates arteriovenous shunting in the aortic arches". _Developmental Biology_, Volume 318, Issue 2, 15 June 2008, Pages 258-267

The only database I could find this journal in is elsevier's science direct (read the abstract here ), but if your library doesn't have access to this journal/database, they should be able to hook you up via interlibrary loan for free or nominal charge, thereby saving you the $31.50 elseveir charges for access to one article. (I would go into one of my librarian rants here about overcharging for journal access, but that would be SO off-topic...) Anyway, happy hunting! :-)