Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Chronic Anemia Cured by Gene Therapy Using Genetically Engineered Blood Vessels

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 29 Nov 2011
A novel gene therapeutic method employing genetically engineered blood vessels to deliver erythropoietin (EPO) to anemic mice was described in a proof-of-concept study.

Investigators at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) created a new type of blood vessel by isolating endothelial colony-forming cells from human blood and then inserting into these cells the gene that encodes EPO. The gene that was inserted was part of a complex that included an “off/on switch” activated by the drug doxycycline.

The genetically engineered colony-forming cells were injected under the skin of immunodeficient mice that had been rendered anemic by radiation treatment (as often occurs in cancer patients) or through loss of kidney tissue (modeling chronic kidney failure).

Results published in the November 17, 2011, issue of the journal Blood revealed that the transplanted cells spontaneously formed networks of blood vessels that became integrated into the animals' own circulatory system. EPO produced by the genetically engineered cells was then released directly into the bloodstream. EPO production could be controlled by administrating or withholding doxycycline.

“Blood-vessel implants are an ideal platform technology for gene therapy applications whose goal is systemic drug delivery,” said senior author Dr. Juan M. Melero-Martin, assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Blood vessels are one of the few tissues where we have good control over engraftment. Endothelial cells are easily isolated from blood, are good at assembling themselves into blood vessels, and are ideal for releasing compounds into the bloodstream, since they line the blood vessels.”

“Such drugs are currently made in bioreactors by engineered cells, and are very expensive to make in large amounts. The paradigm shift here is, why we do not instruct your own cells to be the factory?” said Dr. Melero-Martin.

If this approach can be applied in humans, it would relieve patients from having to receive frequent EPO injections, thus reducing the medical costs associated with the management of anemia.

Related Links:
Harvard Medical School


Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular model of the protein Saposin C (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Nanovesicles Kill Human Lung Cancer Cells in Culture and in a Mouse Xenograft Model

Nanovesicles assembled from the protein Saposin C (SapC) and the phospholipid dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS) were shown to be potent inhibitors of lung cancer cells in culture and in a mouse xenograft model.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Possible New Target Found for Treating Brain Inflammation

Scientists have identified an enzyme that produces a class of inflammatory lipid molecules in the brain. Abnormally high levels of these molecules appear to cause a rare inherited eurodegenerative disorder, and that disorder now may be treatable if researchers can develop suitable drug candidates that suppress this enzyme.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS Gantry microscope (Photo courtesy of Olympus).

New Multiphoton Laser Scanning Microscope Configurations Expand Research Potential

Two new configurations of a state-of-the-art multiphoton laser scanning microscope extend the usefulness of the instrument for examining rapidly occurring biological events and for obtaining images from... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.