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New discovery may improve treatment of one of the world's leading causes of blindness
Date:9/28/2007

fellow Umesh Yadav, took a different route to reduce inflammation, building on work Srivastavas group has already successfully applied to fighting colon cancer and sepsis in animal experiments. Working with rats that had been injected with a uveitis-generating bacterial toxin, they demonstrated that the eye-damaging inflammation could be stopped by treatment with a compound that blocks the action of aldose reductase, an enzyme essential to the production of inflammatory signaling molecules.

We measured inflammatory markers in the untreated rats eyes during inflammation there are a lot of inflammatory signaling proteins and inflammatory cells secreted in the aqueous humor, the clear liquid inside the eyes, Ramana said. The concentrations of those proteins and cells are much lower when we used the aldose reductase inhibitor. When we also studied different sections of the eyes of rats treated with aldose reductase inhibitor, for example the retinal region, we saw the same reduction in the signaling molecules that cause damaging inflammation.

The specific aldose reductase inhibitor used in the experiments was zopolrestat, which is currently in phase 3 clinical trials as a treatment for diabetic complications. But Srivastava said the same effect would likely be produced by other aldose reductase inhibitors, including one now approved for use in Japan.

We have not reached the clinical trial stage as yet, but we are not far away, Srivastava said. If the trials work out, wed like to go for topical administration in drops, which would mean that only the tissues of the eye would be affected by the drug.


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Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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