Sunday January 20, 2019

Protein found in brain may increase risk of stroke, says research

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Culture_of_rat_brain_cells_stained_with_antibody_to_MAP2_(green),_Neurofilament_(red)_and_DNA_(blue)

New York: A special protein found in the brain’s tiniest blood vessels may increase the risk of stroke, find researchers.

The protein called FoxF2 is found in the brain’s smallest blood vessels called capillaries and are essential for the development of the blood-brain barrier.

In a study done on mice, the team found how the blood-brain barrier develops and what makes the capillaries in the brain different from small blood vessels in other organs.

“Mice that have too little or too much FoxF2 develop various types of defects in the brain’s blood vessels,” said Peter Carlsson, professor at the University of Gothenburg’s department of chemistry and molecular biology.

The brain’s smallest blood vessels differ from those in other organs as, in the one’s in brain capillary walls are much more compact.

The nerve cells in the brain get the nutrients they need by molecules actively being transported from the blood, instead of passively leaking out from the blood vessels.

This blood-brain barrier is vital, because it imposes strict control over the substances with which the brain’s nerve cells come into contact.

“It has a protective function that, if it fails, increases the risk of stroke and other complications,” the authors noted.

The FoxF2 gene is an extremely interesting candidate.

“The research is now underway in collaboration with clinical geneticists to investigate the extent to which variations in the FoxF2 gene affect people’s risk of suffering a stroke,” Carlsson said.

The findings appeared in the journal Developmental Cell. (IANS)

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Protein Found in Spinach May Treat Alcohol Abuse, Mood Disorders

The researchers are actively pursuing synthetic and computational strategies to improve these peptides to make them more effective

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Spinach, wikimedia

A large protein found in spinach may aid in the development of new medications for millions around the world dealing with alcohol use disorders, chronic pain and mood disorders, researchers said.

The study, led by researchers from the Purdue University, discovered two peptides which are naturally metabolic products of Rubisco — a large protein found in many plants like spinach — that may aid in the development of new medications.

“These disorders are currently not adequately managed,” said Richard van Rijn, Assistant Professor at Purdue.

 “Better medications that take a more holistic approach and produce fewer side effects will be beneficial.

“We discovered that these peptides selectively activate the known beneficial pathways without activating the ‘side-effect pathways’ of the receptor,” van Rijn added.

Spinach-protein may offer treatment for alcohol abuse, mood disorders.

The discovery, published in the European Neuropsychopharmacolgy, aims to develop molecules that only activate the cellular signalling pathways associated with their therapeutic effect.

Preclinical studies suggest that the peptides are orally bioavailable and able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, both of which are necessary for a drug to effectively treat a disorder of the central nervous system, van Rijn said.

Also Read- Samsung To Unveil New Monitors For Gamers at CES 2019

The researchers are actively pursuing synthetic and computational strategies to improve these peptides to make them more effective.

The rubiscolin peptides are also being investigated for their ability to regulate dietary intake and are even commercially available in anti-ageing skin products. (IANS)