Research on the principle of problem blood vessels

Published: August 4th, 2012

Title: Pathological neoangiogenesis depends on oxidative stress regulation by ATM

This research paper was written by me, Yuji Okuno while I was a student in Keio University, School of Medicine, and it was published to Nature Medicine, a medical journal. Nature Medicine was and is still a journal that published the best articles in medical research.

The beginning of the title, “Pathological neoangiogenesis” means the creation of problem blood vessels.

Originally, I used catheters to check vascular imaging for cancer and inflammation since 2007. Since then, I was having one question “why this messy problem blood vessels are formed in human body?”

I wanted to investigate this question, and started the study at my old school, Keio University with Dr. Yoshiaki Kubota (currently a professor in the department of Anatomy at Keio University) who was researching blood vessels in the retina using a microscope.

I wrote two research reports during these three years at Keio, and one on them is this research paper.

Later, I named these problem blood vessels “moya-moya blood vessels” (moya-moya means messy or foggy in Japanese). Problem blood vessels are the blood vessels that can cause pain in joint areas, and I researched the cause of these blood vessels and what genes effect to them.

General education in school, blood vessels are considered a good thing that carries nutrients to human body, and many people have learned that as well.

However, since 2000, the researchers in the field of blood vessels found that there are two types of blood vessels: normal blood vessels and problem blood vessels that cause disease.

But why this problem blood vessels are formed? What kind of genes effect to create them? These questions were not investigated at that time.

In this study, it explains how problem blood vessels are created and how they find out the necessary genes, and how the genes damage human body.

If we can prevent such problem blood vessels, there is a possibility that we can control inflammation and pain as well as some diseases such as diabetes or cancer. From these reasons, my research was featured in a highly influential journal of Nature Medicine.

The first picture on this page is the cover photo of Nature Medicine at that time. The image we took by microscope for the study was used.

The various insights about blood vessels I earned from this study have been very useful to develop the catheter treatment and other treatments for problem blood vessels.