Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

By studying blood vessels at single cell resolution, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) Professor Jagdeep Nanchahal and colleagues found that in Dupuytren’s disease, a fibrotic disorder of the hand, the vasculature is key to orchestrating the development of human fibrosis.

3D rendered image of blood cells

The team has previously shown that development of myofibroblasts, the cells responsible for deposition of the excessive matrix and contraction, is dependent on production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) by local immune cells. The research, published in PNAS showed that endothelial cells lining the blood vessels modulate the activity of immune regulatory fibroblasts, which secrete mediators that attract the immune cells. They also identified that a potential myofibroblast precursor cell that is contained within a compartment of cells called pericytes that wrap around the blood vessel wall.

First author on the paper, Dr Thomas Layton, who started the work as a Kennedy DPhil student at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology said: "This study illustrates the potential of using state of the art molecular biology techniques to relatively under studied diseases."

Read the full story on the NDORMS website

Similar stories

New study shows higher rate of fractures in people with intellectual disability

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers at the University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust found a substantially higher rate of fractures in people with intellectual disability compared with people of the same age and gender without an intellectual disability.

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Language learning difficulties in children linked to brain differences

A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.

The Gene Therapists Headline at Glastonbury 2022

Rosie Munday writes about her experience taking science to the masses at the Glastonbury Festival.

New research reveals relationship between particular brain circuits and different aspects of mental wellbeing

Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered previously unknown details about how changes in the brain contribute to changes in wellbeing.