Manfred Boehm, M.D.
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a biological pathway that contributes to the high rate of vein graft failure following bypass surgery. Using mouse models of bypass surgery, they showed that excess signaling via the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-Beta) family causes the inner walls of the vein become too thick, slowing down or sometimes even blocking the blood flow that the graft was intended to restore. Inhibition of the TGF-B signaling pathway reduced overgrowth in the grafted veins.
The NHLBI's Dr. Manfred Boehm reflects on the success of the NIH's Undiagnosed Diseases Program. The major initiative is temporarily postponing new applications but continues to investigate the unsolved diseases already in the queue.
Clinical researchers at the National Institutes of Health's Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) have identified the genetic cause of a rare and debilitating vascular disorder not previously explained in the medical literature. The adult-onset condition is associated with progressive and painful arterial calcification affecting the lower extremities, yet spares patients' coronary arteries. The new disease finding was published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Stem cell therapies to repair or regenerate tissue or blood vessels could provide a revolutionary approach to helping patients with cardiovascular disease, including the almost 16 million Americans who live with damaged heart muscle or blood vessels due to a heart attack, chest pain, or blocked arteries.