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Inflammation Kills! Blocking the Inflammation After MI, CVA

Posted Apr 18 2011 8:37pm
Blocking Complement

A person may survive a severe heart attack (MI) or stroke (CVA) only to succumb to the effects of devastating inflammation which tends to occur after blood supply is restored to tissue that was damaged from temporary loss of perfusion. An effective treatment for preventing such re-perfusion inflammation could save many hundreds of thousands of lives a year.
The lectin pathway is responsible for the potentially devastating inflammatory tissue response that can occur when any bodily tissue or organ is reconnected to blood supply following ischaemia – a temporary loss of that blood supply and the oxygen that it carries. This excessive inflammatory response is, in part, responsible for the morbidity and mortality associated with myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs or strokes). Moreover, the work succeeded in finding a way to neutralise this enzyme by raising a therapeutic antibody against it. A single antibody injection in animals has been shown to be sufficient to disrupt the molecular process that leads to tissue and organ destruction following ischaemic events, resulting in significantly less damage and markedly improved outcomes.

"This is a fascinating new achievement in the search for novel treatments to significantly reduce the tissue damage and impaired organ function that occur following ischaemia in widespread and serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes," said Professor Schwaeble. "This new potential therapy was also shown in animals to significantly improve outcomes of transplant surgery and may be applicable to any surgical procedure where tissue viability is at risk due to temporary interruption of blood flow. _ Eurekalert

Of course Professor Schwaeble is correct. Not only would such a treatment be a potential blockbuster drug for preventing complications from MI and CVA, but it would also be immensely useful for surgical procedures where blood supply is temporarily interrupted, or for treating cases of trauma where blood supply is interrupted by the trauma itself and/or by a lifesaving procedure such as a tourniquet or MAST suit used to prevent fatal exsanguination.
The University of Leicester led an international team whose research has been published today in the Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Professor Wilhelm Schwaeble of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Leicester, initiated and co-ordinated research collaborations with King's College London, the Medical University of Fukushima, Japan and the State University of New York, to achieve the present breakthrough findings, which were published today in PNAS.

Professor Schwaeble and collaborators identified an enzyme, Mannan Binding Lectin-Associated Serine Protease-2 (MASP-2), that is found in blood and is a key component of the lectin pathway of complement activation, a component of the innate immune system. _ Eurekalert
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