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Bilirubin can prevent damage from cardiovascular disease
Date:12/6/2012

blocking the growth of vascular smooth muscle cells" Durante said. "Importantly, bilirubin inhibits cell growth without causing cell death, an undesirable side effect of drugs. Cell death creates cellular debris in the arterial network and leads to inflammation and possible rupture of the lesions resulting in even bigger clinical problems."

However, Durante said that bilirubin is a challenge to use because it is not easily dissolved in water and is rapidly metabolized by the liver when taken orally.

"One possibility is to coat stents which doctors insert into arteries to keep blood vessels open once the blockage has been cleared with the bilirubin," Durante said. "When the stents are inserted into the arteries, bilirubin will keep smooth muscle cells from growing and blocking the stent. Surgeons also could coat bilirubin onto blood vessels that are used in bypass surgery."

Durante said that further studies are needed before this technique can be tested in humans. Durante's study was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology. The early-stage results of this research are promising. If additional studies, including animal studies, are successful within the next few years, MU officials would request authority from the federal government to begin human drug development (this is commonly referred to as the "investigative new drug" status). After this status has been granted, researchers may conduct human clinical trials with the hope of developing new treatments.


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Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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