Ageing : ageing of endothelial cells in the context of the blood vessel
01 / 2007 - unknown
The ageing research at the department Cell Architecture and Dynamics focuses on the understanding of the ageing process at organ and cellular level, the definition of ageing markers and the development of anti-ageing intervention strategies. A clear distinction has to be made between ageing and age-related diseases. In our view, ageing makes cells and tissues more vulnerable to age-related diseases and an intervention in the ageing process might thus attenuate the onset of age related disease. Ageing is a very complex biological process, influenced by hereditary, physiological, life style and environmental factors. We have focused for quite some time on one of the factors involved in the ageing process, namely reactive oxygen species , and have build up both a deep understanding of cellular responses towards oxidative stress and developed medium through-put screening assays to asses biological anti-oxidant efficacy of compounds of interest (STW/Unilever project, which contributed to a launch of a new product by Unilever). Our current research expands the work on oxidative stress and ageing in a TS supported project (see below) on ageing of the human vessel wall. The spatio-temporal aspect of the vascular ageing process, with specific interest in the barrier function of the endothelium in early stage of atherosclerosis, is the heart of an IOP project. Since blood plasma will reflect changes occurring in the vessel wall and other organs during the ageing process, we study changes in blood plasma in relation to ageing, employing the Camelid antibodies in collaboration with LUMC, AZN, Unilever Research Colworth and the Biotechnology Application Centre (Unilever).