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Designing safer glucocorticoid drugs

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Glucocorticoid drugs are used widely. However, their long-term use is limited by severe side effects, including high blood levels of glucose, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes. New research now shows that the protein LXR-beta is required in mice for glucocorticoid drugs to elicit many of their negative side effects, suggesting that glucocorticoid drugs designed to selectively target the glucocorticoid receptor and not LXR-beta should be safer than those currently in clinical use.
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Glucocorticoid drugs are used widely to treat numerous conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, allergic reactions, asthma, and some forms of cancer, and transplant recipients. The beneficial effects of these drugs are their potent antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. However, their long-term use is limited by severe side effects, including high blood levels of glucose, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes.

A team of researchers, led by Carolyn Cummins, at the University of Toronto, Ontario, has now shown that the protein LXR-beta is required in mice for glucocorticoid drugs to elicit many of their negative side effects. Importantly, although mice lacking LXR-beta did not develop high levels of blood glucose or fatty liver when administered a glucocorticoid drug, they did show all the signs of immunosuppression.

The authors therefore suggest that glucocorticoid drugs designed to selectively target the glucocorticoid receptor and not LXR-beta should be safer than those currently in clinical use.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rucha Patel, Monika Patel, Ricky Tsai, Vicky Lin, Angie L. Bookout, Yuan Zhang, Lilia Magomedova, Tingting Li, Jessica F. Chan, Conrad Budd, David J. Mangelsdorf, Carolyn L. Cummins. LXRβ is required for glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia and hepatosteatosis in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI41681

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Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Designing safer glucocorticoid drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201121633.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, December 1). Designing safer glucocorticoid drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201121633.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Designing safer glucocorticoid drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201121633.htm (accessed May 24, 2015).

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