Scientists have grown in the lab, the ideal of human blood vessels

An international group of scientists under the leadership of the University of British Columbia (Canada) raised in a Petri dish perfect three-dimensional replica of the human blood vessels, perfectly mimicking the structure and function of these. Researchers believe that the results achieved, the details of which are described in the journal Nature, opens up the possibility of a more effective approach to the development of the treatment of various serious diseases, such as diabetes.

In people with diabetes – a chronic condition of elevated blood sugar is often observed violation of blood circulation in the body. As a result, it can cause heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases associated with the cardiovascular system, and also lead to amputation of limbs. To explore the diabetic state, scientists use animals, for example, the same mice. However, the use of the vascular system of the mouse does not allow to fully investigate and assess all aspects of development of disease, in particular how the defeat of the human vascular system. This complicates the development of treatment complications of diabetes.

The ideal scientist, of course, always wanted to have the opportunity to observe the effects of the disease in the blood vessels, the most similar to human. Therefore, as alternatives to animal studies recent years actively developing the production of tiny bodies or organelles. So, other groups of scientists have already created the organelles of the stomach, lungs and even brain. With their help, conducted research aimed at understanding and developing treatments for many diseases ranging from cystic fibrosis and ending with the zika virus.

The science team behind the latest study says that scientists for a long time failed to create a truly perfect vascular organelles man. However, in a press release from the University of British Columbia notes that it has now succeeded.

“Our organelles are very similar to human capillaries even at the molecular level, so now we can use them to study diseases of the blood vessels directly on human tissues,” — says the study’s lead author Reiner Wimmer.

Comparison changes of blood vessels: in humans and laboratory created vascular organelles. The basement membrane (marked in green) around blood vessels (red) are significantly increased in patients with diabetes (indicated by white arrows)

The authors note that the organelles of the human vascular system have been grown from stem cells – immature cells that can take the form of any other. As in the case of this vascular system of man, created the organelles has a network of capillaries, covered by the basal membrane which is a layer separating the connective tissue from the epithelium or endothelium and performs a structural function, giving and maintaining the shape of blood vessels.

Wimmer team received transplanted organelles living mice that have no immune system (this is necessary to prevent rejection of new tissue). Organelles are easily caught in their bodies, connecting with the present circulatory system, and then developed further in a larger network of arteries, arterioles (small arteries) and small veins.

The scientists decided to go further and even managed to recreate the diabetic vessels, characterized by thickening of the basement membrane. Now you can use them as models to identify new treatments.

The results of the experiments show that established vascular organelles provide a more suitable model for the study of diabetes, the researchers add. And since the circulatory system is connected to all parts of the body, the potential application of these organelles goes far beyond research only one of the disease.

“Every organ in our body is associated with the circulatory system. The ability to grow blood vessels in the form of organelles of stem cells is the tipping point. With their help, we can learn the causes and how to treat numerous diseases ranging from diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, all cardiovascular diseases to cancer,” says senior author of the research Gozer Penninger.

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