Blood pressure drug revives cells
Published: April 20, 2006 | 4037th good news item since 2003
Purdue University researchers said Tuesday that the hypertension drug hydralazine appears to reverse cell death.
The study suggests that the treatment can reverse damaged cells in conditions including spinal cord injury, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
The drug seems to have this recently discovered benefit because it may work as an antidote to acrolein, a deadly toxin that is produced after a nerve cell is injured, the researchers noted.
The Purdue team collected data on acrolein from cell cultures and noted that “the potent toxin can destroy entire groups of cells in less than 12 hours,” but also saw that cells would survive if the toxin were treated with hydralazine.
“We analyzed other natural toxins as well, and our success has been remarkable,” the researchers said. “We found that more than 80 percent of the cells can be saved with hydralazine. This is probably the most important fundamental discovery we have made at the Center for Paralysis Research because we are saving nerve cells from death,” said a member of the Purdue research team.
“Initially we may use this discovery for spinal cord injury and stroke, but we can expect further studies will look at how it works against a whole spectrum of injury and disease,” he said.
The findings appear in two studies published in the April 17 issue of Journal of Neuroscience Monday