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 New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>