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Have researchers found a new treatment for sepsis?
Date:12/3/2013

ambert, as part of a collaboration with Dr Zo Brookes at the University of Sheffield and Dr Girolamo Calo and Dr Remo Guerrini at the University of Ferrara, has shown for the first time using fluorescent chemistry - which was designed in Ferrara - that nociceptin receptors are found on blood vessels with no nerve supply and that in a laboratory model of sepsis, blocking these receptors is protective. This work was funded by British Journal of Anaesthesthia / Royal College of Anaesthetists and Anaesthetic Research Society.

In the second paper, funded by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and British Journal of Anaesthesia / Royal College of Anaesthetists, Dr Thompson and Professor Lambert have discovered that nociceptin levels in the bloodstream are elevated in patients with sepsis in Intensive Care, demonstrating that nociceptin activation might be important in critically ill patients suffering from sepsis.

Sepsis remains a leading cause of admission to Intensive Care Units, with high mortality, costs, and long-term morbidity in those who survive. The incidence of severe sepsis has increased over the last decade, making the discovery of new treatments highly desirable.

Dr Jonathan Thompson said: "Sepsis is a major health problem for the NHS that has often been under-recognised. It can be rapidly fatal, especially if not diagnosed and treated early, because inflammation can spread and affect many different organs in the body.

"Clinicians are making progress in the early recognition and treatment of sepsis, but we have no specific drugs that effectively stop the spread of inflammation, or the biological processes involved. We have found that nociceptin, a chemical similar to endorphins produced in the body, is increased in inflammation and sepsis.

"This suggests that drugs which block the nociceptin receptor could dampen the widespread inflammation that occurs in sepsis, and improve outcome.
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Contact: Dr. Jonathan Thompson
jt23@le.ac.uk
01-162-523-132
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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