The Hunt for Safer Pain Killers
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Nonsteroidal antinflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) that block an enzyme called COX-2 relieves pain and inflammation. However, they can cause heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and even sudden cardiac death. Researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania clarify action of potential new class of pain relievers that may benefit, not hurt, the heart.
Researchers are building on previous work that showed that deleting an enzyme in the COX-2 pathway in mice with heart disease slowed the development of atherosclerosis. Now, they extended this observation by clarifying that the consequence of deleting the enzyme mPEGS-1 differs, depending on the cell type in which it is taken away.
"While deletion or inhibition of COX-2 in mice elevates their blood pressure and predisposes them to clotting and hardening of the arteries due to suppressing the cardioprotective lipid prostacyclin, deleting mPGES-1 avoids these effects and even restrains the development of atherosclerosis," senior author Garret FitzGerald, MD, FRS, director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, was quoted as saying.
"Taken together these studies add more evidence that targeting the enzyme mPEGS-1 could result in a new class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that steer clear of heart-disease risk and even work to reduce it," Lihong Chen, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of senior author Garret FitzGerald, was quoted as saying.
For more information, go to: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/04/fitzgerald/
SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 2014
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