'Intelligent medicine' erases side effects

May 31, 2012

Scientists at Aarhus University, Denmark in collaboration with the biotech company Cytoguide now publish a key to use glucocorticoid steroids in a kind of intelligent medicine that specifically hits the relevant cells. Data are based on rodent studies but if this principle is translated to humans it may greatly improve todays hazardous treatment with this type of potent steroids.

This is the main perspective in the research now published in the recognized research journal Molecular Therapy in the .

Synthetic glucocorticoid steroid are used in many acute and including many such as . This is the most potent anti-inflammatory medicine, but its use is hampered by serious side effects such as osteoporosis, loss in muscle mass, diabetes and immunosuppression.

The new data from the scientists now show that they can target the drugs directly to he 'macrophage' . These cells play a main role in inflammation and their damaging effect on the surrounding tissues is strongly dampened by the glucocorticoid steroids.

The new technology is based on the coupling of the steroids to an antibody that specifically binds to a receptor exclusively expressed on the surface of macrophages. The receptors normally take up haemoglobin but they are also able to engulf drug-conjugates binding to the receptors. In the cells, the active steroid is released and it can now execute it effect (gene regulation).

In this way the drug only works in the relevant cells and much less is needed to obtain full efficacy.

'Our project may initially have relevance for inflammation disease and our focus is now on the that affects many persons with fatty liver due to obesity or alcohol abuses' Soren K. Moestrup from Aarhus University says.

'But this technology may also be applied on completely different types of diseases such as cancer' he continues.

If the scientists get financing and collaboration with the large pharma industry in place they expect to have the first conjugate medicine on the market in about 6 years.

Explore further: New anti-inflammatory drugs might help avoid side effects of steroids

More information: "Targeting the hemoglobin scavenger receptor CD163 in macrophages highly increases the anti-inflammatory potency of dexamethasone". Molecular Therapy.

Related Stories

New anti-inflammatory drugs might help avoid side effects of steroids

October 25, 2011
A new class of anti-inflammatory drugs may one day serve as an alternative to steroid medications and possibly help avoid the serious side effects of steroids, based on research findings at the Salk Institute for Biological ...

Chloroquine finding may lead to treatments for arthritis, cancer and other diseases

July 18, 2011
In a study published recently in the journal Science Signaling Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) scientists demonstrate on the molecular level how the anti-malaria drug chloroquine represses inflammation, which may provide ...

New discovery may lead to safer treatments for asthma, allergies and arthritis

December 19, 2011
Scientists have discovered a missing link between the body's biological clock and sugar metabolism system, a finding that may help avoid the serious side effects of drugs used for treating asthma, allergies and arthritis.

Recommended for you

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

'Smart' robot technology could give stroke rehab a boost

July 19, 2017
Scientists say they have developed a "smart" robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Engineered liver tissue expands after transplant

July 19, 2017
Many diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to liver failure. More than 17,000 Americans suffering from these diseases are now waiting for liver transplants, but significantly fewer livers are available.

Lunatic Fringe gene plays key role in the renewable brain

July 19, 2017
The discovery that the brain can generate new cells - about 700 new neurons each day - has triggered investigations to uncover how this process is regulated. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Jan and Dan Duncan ...

New animal models for hepatitis C could pave the way for a vaccine

July 19, 2017
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of hepatitis C—a disease that affects nearly 71 million people worldwide, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer if left untreated—it might be worth ...

Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

July 18, 2017
Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for some of its ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.