Cerebral Cavernous Malformation News and Articles
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What is cerebral cavernous malformation?
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are collections of small blood vessels (capillaries) in the brain that are enlarged and irregular in structure. These capillaries have abnormally thin walls that are prone to leak. They also lack other support tissues, such as elastic fibers, which normally make them stretchy. As a result, when the capillaries fill with blood, they stretch out and may not return to their normal size when the blood vessels empty. Cavernous malformations can occur anywhere in the body, but usually produce serious signs and symptoms only when they occur in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
Approximately 25 percent of individuals with cerebral cavernous malformations never experience any related medical problems. Other people with cerebral cavernous malformations may experience serious symptoms such as headaches, seizures, paralysis, hearing or vision deficiencies, and bleeding in the brain (cerebral hemorrhage). Severe brain hemorrhages can result in death. The location and number of cerebral cavernous malformations determine the severity of this disorder. These malformations can change in size and number over time, but they do not become cancerous.
How common is cerebral cavernous malformation?
Cerebral cavernous malformations affect about 0.5 percent of the population worldwide.
What genes are related to cerebral cavernous malformation?
Mutations in the CCM2, KRIT1, and PDCD10 genes cause cerebral cavernous malformation.
The precise functions of these genes are not fully understood, but they most likely play a role in blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) during embryonic development. They may also play a role in maintaining existing blood vessels. Researchers have not determined how mutations in these genes can lead to the abnormal capillaries characteristic of cerebral cavernous malformations.
Mutations in these three genes account for 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases of familial cerebral cavernous malformations. The remaining 20 percent to 30 percent of cases may be due to unidentified genes or to other unknown causes.
How do people inherit cerebral cavernous malformation?
This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In some cases, an affected person inherits the mutation from one affected parent.
Most cases of cerebral cavernous malformation result from a new mutation in the KRIT1, CCM2, or PDCD10 gene. These cases are known as sporadic, and they occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
Source: National Institutes of Health
Research Findings from University of Ottawa Update Understanding of Pharmacology
2013 JAN 23 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week
-- Investigators publish new report on Pharmacology. According to news originating from Ottawa, Canada, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage
is a debilitating
form of stroke, often leading to death or permanent cognitive impairment
. Many of the causative genes and the underlying mechanisms implicated in developmental cerebral-vascular malformations are unknown."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Ottawa, "Recent in vitro and in vivo studies in mice have shown inhibition of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) pathway to be effective in stabilizing cranial vessels. Using a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches to specifically inhibit the HMGCR pathway in zebrafish (Danio rerio), we demonstrate a requirement for this metabolic pathway in developmental vascular stability. Here we report that inhibition of HMGCR function perturbs cerebral-vascular stability, resulting in progressive dilation of blood vessels, followed by vessel rupture, mimicking cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM)-like lesions in humans and murine models. The hemorrhages in the brain are rescued by prior exogenous supplementation with geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP), a 20-carbon metabolite of the HMGCR pathway, required for the membrane localization and activation of Rho GTPases. Consistent with this observation, morpholino-induced depletion of the ß-subunit of geranylgeranyltransferase I (GGTase I), an enzyme that facilitates the post-translational transfer of the GGPP moiety to the C-terminus of Rho family of GTPases, mimics the cerebral hemorrhaging induced by the pharmacological and genetic ablation of HMGCR. In embryos with cerebral hemorrhage, the endothelial-specific expression of cdc42, a Rho GTPase involved in the regulation of vascular permeability, was significantly reduced."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Taken together, our data reveal a metabolic contribution to the stabilization of nascent cranial vessels, requiring protein geranylgeranylation acting downstream of the HMGCR pathway."
For more information on this research see: The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) pathway regulates developmental cerebral-vascular stability via prenylation-dependent signalling pathway. Developmental Biology, 2013;373(2):258-66. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Developmental Biology - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/622816)
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from S. Eisa-Beygi, Dept. of Biology, Centre for Advanced Research in Environmental Genomics (CAREG), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Keywords for this news article include: Ottawa, Canada, Ontario, Reductase, Pharmacology, Enzymes and Coenzymes, North and Central America.
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