Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research may boost drug efficacy in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension

08.01.2014
Intravenous/sublingual tissue-penetrating homing peptide enhances activity of other pulmonary drugs, according to new research published in the American Journal of Pathology

The development of new, more effective vasodilators to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has been hampered because of their systemic toxicity and adverse side effects.

An international team of investigators seeking to surmount these problems and increase drug efficacy have determined that a vascular homing peptide can selectively target hypertensive pulmonary arteries to boost the pulmonary but not systemic effects of vasodilators. Importantly for potential clinical use, this peptide retains its activity when given sublingually. The results using a rat model of PAH are published in the American Journal of Pathology.

PAH is a cardiovascular disease characterized by a resting mean pulmonary arterial pressure >25 mmHg, or >30 mmHg during exercise. Symptoms of PAH are shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, dizziness, peripheral edema, cyanosis, and chest pain. PAH results from pulmonary vasoconstriction and vascular remodelling accompanied by endothelial dysfunction, fibroblast activation, and endothelial cellular proliferation. Without treatment, heart failure and death may occur.

"Our results open the door to a new direction of PAH treatment. These findings have high clinical significance because CAR (peptide CARSKNKDC) enables the down-dosing of not only vasodilators, but any PAH drug to reduce its systemic side effects without decreasing its pulmonary efficacy," says Masahiko Oka, MD, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine and Center for Lung Biology at the University of South Alabama.

In previous work, the investigators found that in two experimental models of PAH in rats the homing peptide CAR selectively accumulates in the walls of hypertensive pulmonary arteries. In the current study, PAH was experimentally induced in rats by subcutaneous injection of Sugen5416, followed by exposure to hypoxia for three weeks, and then returned to normal oxygen levels for two weeks. These rats manifest very high right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) compared to controls (102 mmHg vs.24 mmHg). Histologically, small pulmonary arteries and arterioles display severe, occlusive neointimal lesions.

Intravenous CAR was found in the pulmonary arteries of the PAH rats but not in normal pulmonary arteries. CAR was not detectable in the liver, spleen, or heart but was found in the endothelium and fibrotic tissue of severely remodeled pulmonary arterial walls. Notable levels were also found in kidney tubules but this reflects where it is excreted, say the authors.

The investigators then looked at the effects of CAR on vasodilating drugs. They found that co-administration of CAR significantly enhanced the pressure-lowering effects of the Rho kinase inhibitor fasudil on RVSP but not on systolic systemic arterial pressure. CAR also boosted the pulmonary vasodilator effects of the phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor sildenafil and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib.

One limitation of homing peptides is finding a good route of administration. Intravenous administration is impractical on a routine basis and oral bioavailability of peptides is poor due to digestive degradation. The authors were able to show that CAR was effective when given sublingually, and this route might even be superior to administration via injection.

"Additional studies are warranted to examine if CAR works similarly in human PAH as in the rat model. However, our results open the door to a new direction of PAH treatment and warrant further investigation," says Dr. Oka.

The concepts underlying the study were first established in tumor biology with the identification of disease-specific, distinctive surface markers of tumor blood vessels that are not present in the vessels of normal tissues. Homing peptides are substances that find their way to receptors in these abnormal blood vessels, and are being developed to transport drugs selectively to tumors. These peptides can spread into tumor tissue, and can target drug delivery where it is needed. Some homing peptides chemically couple with the drug being transported, but this can weaken the drug's activity. Other homing peptides can transport a drug without chemically interacting with it, a process known as the "bystander effect"; the advantage is that the drug's activity is not compromised by its carrier.

Eileen Leahy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elsevier.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>