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Psoriasis and Atherosclerosis Anything in Common?
July 6, 2011 20:11

What are genes?

Research, performed in Russia and other countries, revealed that formation processes of psoriatic and atherosclerotic plaques could have common mechanisms.

Russian scientists decided to find out what role genes of ATF family play in development of these two diseases – psoriasis and atherosclerosis. Working group of this project consisted of researchers from Vavilov Institute of General Genetics (Russian academy of sciences), the Centre of Biological Therapy, the Centre of Theoretical Problems of Physico-Chemical Pharmacology, and Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. The research was financially supported by the Russian government and Russian academy of sciences. Experiments demonstrated that abovementioned genes changed their activity both in atherosclerotic plaques of blood vessel walls, and in psoriatic plaques on skin.

In order to perform experimental work, researchers compared atherosclerotic plaques with healthy parts of a blood vessel, as well as searched for difference between psoriatic plaques and tiny bits of healthy skin in psoriasis patients. Scientists have measured activity of two genes of AT F family. These two genes are ATF-3 and ATF-4, and their activity in damaged blood vessel tissue turned out to be two times higher, than in healthy tissue. In case of psoriasis the pattern was completely opposite – activity of mentioned genes in psoriatic plaques appeared to be two times lower compared to same process, taking place in healthy skin tissues.

Patients, which were so kind to give biological material for analysis, had other health disorders apart from psoriasis or atherosclerosis. These concomitant diseases were various types of cancer, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, and others. However, investigation showed that mentioned pathological processes had no effect on activity of ATF-3 and ATF-4 genes, unlike psoriasis and atherosclerosis. Experiments also clarified that stage and severity of psoriasis or atherosclerosis didn’t have any effect on intensity of expression of these genes.

Scientists explained changes in activity of these genes with ATF-3 playing an important role in death of cells, lining blood vessels, during development of atherosclerosis. As for ATF-4, this gene regulates and activates ATF-3. Authors of the research consider difference of gene activity in psoriatic and atherosclerotic plaques to be a good parameter for diagnostics of these two diseases.

Psoriasis is a very common skin condition, during which people have irritant red skin. It may happen at any age, but is most often detected in people aged between 15 and 35. The disease seems to have links with heredity.

During atherosclerosis fat is accumulated inside blood vessels in the form of atherosclerotic plaques. These plaques may eventually block the vessel and cause unpleasant symptoms, like chest pain, short breath, heart attack and others. One with atherosclerosis usually doesn’t feel any discomfort, until blood flow is blocked. Blood clots can form near the plaques.

Source: Science & Technologies

Anna Kizilova

Author: Anna Kizilova

Tags: health biology medicine Russian academy of sciences  

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