Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Bacteria That Shape Blood Vessels

By Lacy SchleyAugust 7, 2017 5:00 AM
(Credit: CNRI/Science Source)


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Researchers have discovered a surprising link between gut-dwelling bacteria and the brain’s blood vessels. Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are capillaries that are enlarged or deformed and thin-walled, making them vulnerable to leaks — which can lead to stroke or seizure. To study these deformities, experts genetically engineered mice to form CCMs after an injection of a specialized drug. Some rodents went on to develop abdominal infections, thanks to the bacteria Bacteroides fragilis. Researchers realized when B. fragilis was present, the mice were more likely to have CCMs, and when the bacteria were eliminated, the CCM development stopped. The findings strengthen a growing body of evidence that the microbes of our intestines play an important and unexpected role in an array of maladies.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In