Genetic Variant of the Gene SPG7 (image) University of Ottawa Heart Institute Caption A genetic variant of the gene SPG7 is associated with increased risk of heart disease. University of Ottawa Heart Institute researchers have shown that this variant increases cardiovascular risk by initiating oxidative stress in mitochondria (shown in red) that leads to chronic inflammation and long-term damage of blood vessels. The mitochondria in an unstressed cell would show primarily as green. Credit University of Ottawa Heart Institute Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.