Sunday, January 30, 2011
Researchers discover root cause of blood vessel damage in diabetes (USA)
A key mechanism that appears to contribute to blood vessel damage in people with diabetes has been identified by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Blood vessel problems are a common diabetes complication. Many of the nearly 26 million Americans with the disease face the prospect of amputations, heart attack, stroke and vision loss because of damaged vessels. Reporting in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Washington University researchers say studies in mice show that the damage appears to involve two enzymes, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), that interact in the cells that line blood vessel walls. 'We already knew that in diabetes there's a defect in the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels,' says first author Xiaochao Wei, PhD. 'People with diabetes also have depressed levels of fatty acid synthase. But this is the first time we've been able to link those observations together.'