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Low-dose naltrexone (LDN): Tricking the body to heal itself
Date:9/2/2011

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania have discovered the mechanism by which a low dose of the opioid antagonist naltrexone (LDN), an agent used clinically (off-label) to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, exerts a profound inhibitory effect on cell proliferation. It has been postulated that opioid receptor blockade by LDN provokes a compensatory elevation in endogenous opioids and opioid receptors that can function after LDN is no longer available. Using a novel tissue culture model of LDN action, the mechanism of LDN has been found to target the opioid growth factor (OGF, [Met5]-enkephalin) and OGF receptor (OGFr) axis. This discovery, reported in the September 2011 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, provides new insights into the molecular pathway utilized by an increasingly important clinically prescribed agent that serves as a basic biological regulator of cell proliferative events related to pathobiological states such as cancer and autoimmune diseases

Although the antitumor effects of opioid antagonists were first noted by Drs. Zagon and McLaughlin in 1981 (Life Sci. 28:1095-1102, 1981), the first full reports about opioid antagonists modulating growth processes occurred in 1983 (Science 221:671-673; ibid, 221:1179-1180). This led to the hypothesis that endogenous opioid systems play a role in cancer, development, and cellular renewal (Life Sci. 35:409-416, 1984; ibid, 35:2057-2064, 1984). These papers revealed that a short-term opioid receptor blockade with naltrexone (NTX), a general opioid receptor antagonist devoid of intrinsic activity, results in an elevation in endogenous opioids and opioid receptors in response to the opioid receptor blockade. Interference of opioid peptide-opioid receptor interactions for a short time each day (4-6 hr) with LDN provided a subsequent window of time (18-20 hr) for the increased levels of endogenous opioids and opioid receptors to int
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Contact: Dr. Ian Zagon
isz1@psu.edu
717-531-6409
Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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