Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New therapeutic properties of N-acetyl-L-cysteine discovered

19.01.2009
Researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Univesidad de Alcalá (UAH), confirm that N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) combined with mesalamine produces a significant improvement in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

The team headed by Luis González Guijarro, biochemistry and molecular biology professor at the UAH, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical firm Farmasierra S.L., has developed a pilot study of the effects of N-acetyl-L-cysteine on patients suffering from moderate or mild ulcerative colitis.

The conclusion reached in this study, and published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, is that the association of N-acetyl-L-cysteine and mesalamine, reduces the symptoms of patients affected with this condition. Previous to now, these patients were treated solely with mesalamine.

Professor González Guijarro explains that ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that specifically affects the colon, producing free radicals and hydrogen peroxide. The cells of our immune system protect the body from infections using several weapons and neutrophils, the most abundant type of white blood cell in our organism, destroying microorganisms and producing hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is unstable and breaks down into hydroxyl radicals that cause damage to the delicate tissues. Professor González Guijarro states that the intention of the co-administration of NAC and mesalamine was to eliminate the hydrogen peroxide and reduce the number of free radicals using N-acetyl-L-cysteine. N-acetyl-L-cysteine is a precursor to glutathione, a molecule that along with glutathione peroxidase, eliminates hydrogen peroxide.

The study carried out in collaboration with the Gregorio Marañón hospital and the Princesa hospital, is the first step in the long process that has to take place before any drug reaches drugstores. Work must begin on the association of mesalamine and NAC into a single product; since the study was carried out by administering one drug as a pill and the other as a soluble compound.

The professor of biochemistry and molecular biology insists that the clinical and biochemical effects have to be continuously recorded in order to corroborate the preliminary indications. For example, that this association does not produce any adverse side effects, and that N-acetyl-L-cysteine can be significant in the quimioprevention of colon cancer.

Another objective of the team of the UAH is to direct the molecule to the inflamed colon, using an enteric coating that should degrade at a certain pH. This way when the patient ingests the pill, the drug will pass through the stomach and intestine and will only be released in the colon.

N-acetyl-L-cysteine, is a drug normally used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and to minimize the effects of cold and flu. Its hepatic protective properties also make this drug a useful tool in paracetamol intoxications.

The research team at Alcalá University has been studying the new therapeutic properties of NAC for years, producing results such as an in vitro study where N-acetyl-L-cysteine reduced the negative effects caused by azathioprine, a immunosuppressant of clinical use, on the liver. Currently many research groups are working on the application of NAC in the treatment of diverse pathologies, such as diabetes, alcohol and cocaine dependence syndromes.

Every advance in the treatment of ulcerative colitis is of great relevance because the disease causes many discomforts in the patient while conditioning their life. In the early stages the symptoms are mainly diarrhea, weight loss, and intestinal bleeding, but once it aggravates, intestinal fistulas appear. “Nowadays new extremely powerful drugs are being developed; so-called biological drugs, like anti-TNF antibodies, that even manage to cure the fistulas but cause negative side effects and are very expensive. Every improvement in the application of classic drugs with enteric coatings, combinations of drugs, etc… represent less risk for the patient and savings for the social security” states González Guijarro.

“The future in treating diseases is customized treatments. In order for a drug to work, the weight and age of the patient must be considered, but their genetic information will also provide the key to evaluate whether a certain molecule would be effective for the particular patient” concludes the Professor of the UAH.

Oficina de Información Cien | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uah.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>