Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New model taps tiny, common tropical fish for large-scale drug screening to combat Cushing disease

Date:
May 10, 2011
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
A common, tiny tropical fish plays a key role in a new model for Cushing disease, giving researchers a powerful tool to conduct extensive searches for effective treatments for this serious hormonal disorder, testing up to 300 drugs weekly.

A common, tiny tropical fish plays a key role in a new model for Cushing disease, giving researchers a powerful tool to conduct extensive searches for effective treatments for this serious hormonal disorder, testing up to 300 drugs weekly.

The model -- published online on May 2 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- was created in the laboratory of Shlomo Melmed, MD, dean of the medical faculty at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, by his research team led by Ning-Ai Liu, MD, PhD.

They introduced into striped zebrafish -- the freshwater translucent tropical Danio rario -- the "pituitary tumor transforming gene" discovered in Melmed's lab in 1997. This caused the zebrafish to develop features of Cushing disease including: high levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol; diabetes; and heart disease. These zebrafish then were bred with fish that bear green fluorescent markers, allowing researchers to visualize in the resulting hybrids how drugs interact with the Cushing's disease pituitary tumors.

"This new model for Cushing disease means that we can more rapidly and effectively identify drugs that could be successful in fighting these tumors," Melmed said. "With no current drug therapies and limited options available to Cushing patients, it is our hope that our research will enable medical advances that will revolutionize how this disease is treated."

Cushing Disease often is caused by a pituitary tumor that triggers overproduction of a hormone, which, in turn, stimulates the adrenal gland to overproduce cortisol, affecting nearly every area of the body including the regulation of blood pressure and metabolism. This leads to serious health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity (especially with a distinctive moon face and fatty tissue deposits in the midsection, upper back and between the shoulders) and cardiovascular disease.

There are no approved drugs that effectively target the pituitary tumors that frequently cause the disease. "Because the tumors can be too small to be detected by MRI and a complete tumor resection by surgery can be difficult in some cases, this leaves few treatment options for many with the disease," said Dr. Liu, an endocrinologist at Cedars Sinai.

In the initial test of the zebrafish model, researchers studied five drugs, including R-roscovitine, a drug in phase two trials to treat esophageal and non-small cell lung cancer. This drug was found to effectively suppress levels of hormone secreted by the pituitary tumor, as well as the level of cortisol and could be a potential treatment for fighting tumor growth.

The study was supported by a National Institutes of Health Grant and the Doris Factor Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N.-A. Liu, H. Jiang, A. Ben-Shlomo, K. Wawrowsky, X.-M. Fan, S. Lin, S. Melmed. Targeting zebrafish and murine pituitary corticotroph tumors with a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1018091108

Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "New model taps tiny, common tropical fish for large-scale drug screening to combat Cushing disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510101720.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2011, May 10). New model taps tiny, common tropical fish for large-scale drug screening to combat Cushing disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510101720.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "New model taps tiny, common tropical fish for large-scale drug screening to combat Cushing disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510101720.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins