Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 8th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Reining-in Vessels

Insight into blood vessel growth and how to treat blood vessel tumours

28 August 2019

Reining-in Vessels

Birthmarks come in all shapes and sizes but they don’t all last forever. Take infantile hemangiomas, also known as strawberry marks. These are tumours made of tangled blood vessels beneath the skin. Occasionally they need to be treated with the drug propranolol. Researchers now demonstrate that propranolol also successfully treats some of the symptoms of a rare syndrome called HLTRS in which abnormal blood vessel growth can affect many organs and is caused by a mutation in the SOX18 gene. Using a mouse model of HLTRS, the team found that propranolol resolved the abnormal blood vessel growth in the cornea, as revealed by fluorescence microscopy of treated (pictured, right) and untreated eyes (left). Further tests showed a specific form of the drug, R-propranolol, acts specifically to reduce SOX18 activity. These insights highlight the importance of SOX18 in blood vessel tumours and the potential for R-propranolol in treating these and other vascular diseases.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.