Genetic Variations and Heredity found Associated With Varicose Veins

  • Varicose veins is a condition in which the veins, most often those in the legs, swell and become twisted. This is often seen in pregnant women, and people who stand for long hours such as shop keepers and policemen.
  • Risks of a person having varicose veins increases 90% if one or both of his parents have had this condition.
  • When researchers compared blood and venous tissue samples of normal people and patients with this condition, they found that cells from the latter’s sample showed variations in the ‘human forkhead box C2’, the FoxC2 gene which is involved in blood vessel development.
  • Varicose veins showed elevated levels of FoxC2 protein. Variants of this gene in cells cultured in the lab showed high levels of this protein.
  • In another experiment, when cultured cells were induced to produce more of this protein, genes associated with arterial development were switched on and these could potentially disrupt the normal structure of the veins.
  • When people with high-risk variant of this gene stand for long durations, the veins in their legs may not effectively adapt to the stress leading to varicosity.

Exams Perspective:

  1. Varicose veins
  2. Biotechnology
  3. Heredity versus Environment
  4. FoxC2 gene
  5. Varicosity