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Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients

Date:
November 11, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting development of a long-sought method with the potential for getting medication through a biological barrier that surrounds the brain, where it may limit the brain damage caused by stroke. Their approach for sneaking the nerve-protective drug erythropoietin into the brain is medicine's version of the Trojan Horse ploy straight out of ancient Greek legend. It could help people with traumatic head injuries, Parkinson's disease, and other chronic brain disorders.

Scientists are reporting development of a long-sought method with the potential for getting medication through a biological barrier that surrounds the brain, where it may limit the brain damage caused by stroke. Their approach for sneaking the nerve-protective drug erythropoietin into the brain is medicine's version of the Trojan Horse ploy straight out of ancient Greek legend. It also could help people with traumatic head injuries, Parkinson's disease, and other chronic brain disorders.

Their report appears in ACS' Molecular Pharmaceutics, a bi-monthly journal.

William Pardridge and colleagues explain that erythropoietin is a protective protein that has engendered great medical interest for its potential in protecting brain cells cut off from their normal blood supply by a stroke, or brain attack. Tests, however, show that erythropoietin, like other drugs, cannot penetrate a tightly-knit layer of cells called the blood-brain-barrier that surrounds and protects the brain from disease-causing microbes and other harmful material. Other proteins, however, can penetrate the barrier, and the scientists decided to test one of them as a Trojan Horse to sneak in erythropoietin.

The researchers found an antibody that can go through the blood brain barrier and linked it to erythropoietin to make a hybrid protein. Tests showed that the approach worked in laboratory mice, with the hybrid protein successfully penetrating the blood-brain barrier. The advance will allow scientists to begin testing erythropoietin's effects on mice with simulated stroke and other brain disorders, so that scientists can establish the most effective dose and best timing for possible future tests in humans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qing-Hui Zhou, Ruben J. Boado, Jeff Zhiqiang Lu, Eric Ka-Wai Hui, William M. Pardridge. Re-Engineering Erythropoietin as an IgG Fusion Protein That Penetrates the Blood−Brain Barrier in the Mouse. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2010; 101007165407011 DOI: 10.1021/mp1001763

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110123945.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, November 11). Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110123945.htm
American Chemical Society. "Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110123945.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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