Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preterm labor powerhouse therapy offers promise for inflammatory diseases

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Researchers recently discovered the mechanism by which magnesium reduces the production of cytokines. Cytokines are molecules responsible for regulating inflammation; they play a key role conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, asthma, and alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis.

Magnesium sulfate is given to many pregnant women to treat preterm labor and preeclampsia and was recently shown to prevent cerebral palsy; however little is known about how it works. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine recently discovered the mechanism by which magnesium reduces the production of cytokines.

Cytokines are molecules responsible for regulating inflammation; they play a key role conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, asthma, and alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis. Although the study related to pregnancy, inflammation is the culprit of many conditions and learning more about individual's magnesium levels may help a much broader patient population.

In a study published in The Journal of Immunology, the laboratories of Helene Bernstein, MD, PhD, and Andrea Romani, MD, PhD, reported that magnesium decreases inflammation by reducing the activity of cells' primary protein, Nuclear Factor Kappa Beta (NF-kB), and the subsequent production of cytokines. This new insight offers a promising new immunotherapeutic strategy by which a simple nutrient, known to be safe based on its extensive usage in obstetric settings, can decrease inflammation in diseases other than pregnancy, including in other sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome, asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer. The cost of all of these diseases in the United States exceeds $200 billion annually.

"We really didn't understand how or why magnesium worked, which was frustrating for both physicians and patients. As cytokines levels at birth are the strongest predictor of cerebral palsy and are associated with preterm birth, we asked whether magnesium influences cytokine production. The concept that such a small molecule decreases inflammation is exciting and relevant to other diseases. Now that we understand how magnesium functions, we can figure out how to make it work even better," says Dr. Bernstein, associate professor of reproductive biology and molecular biology and microbiology, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, OB/GYN at University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, and senior author of the study.

The physician-scientists are now examining how magnesium could be used therapeutically, looking at factors including dosage, timing, frequency, and delivery method. Further research is needed to pinpoint magnesium sulfate's broader applicability.

"The last decade has registered an incredible progress in understanding the basics of magnesium homeostasis both at the cellular and whole body level. Yet, a significant gap still exists when our knowledge about magnesium is compared to that of calcium, sodium, potassium, or hydrogen. As efforts continue to elucidate magnesium regulation and effects, more effective 'therapeutic approaches' will become applicable to patient health care," says Andrea Romani, MD, PhD, associate professor of physiology and biophysics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and first author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Preterm labor powerhouse therapy offers promise for inflammatory diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009121159.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2012, October 9). Preterm labor powerhouse therapy offers promise for inflammatory diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009121159.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Preterm labor powerhouse therapy offers promise for inflammatory diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009121159.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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