When biodegradable microparticles were injected after a heart attack, the size of the heart lesion was reduced by 50 percent and the heart could pump significantly more blood.
"This is the first therapy that specifically targets a key driver of the damage that occurs after a heart attack," said investigator
The micoparticles work by binding to the damaging cells - inflammatory monocytes - and diverting them to a fatal detour. Instead of racing to the heart, the cells head to the spleen and die.
The particles are made of poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid, a biocompatible and biodegradable substance already approved by the
The scientists' study showed the microparticles reduced damage and repaired tissue in many other inflammatory diseases. These include models of West Nile virus, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, peritonitis and a model that mimics blood flow after a kidney transplant.
"The potential for treating many different diseases is tremendous," said investigator
Getts, Miller and
Biotech Startup Aims for FDA Approval and Clinical Trial
"This discovery has the potential to transform how inflammatory disorders are treated and the use of microparticles derived from biodegradable polymers means that this therapy could be rapidly translated for clinical use," said
How a Fatal Attraction Saves the Heart
The microparticles are designed to have a negative charge on their surface. This makes them irresistible to the inflammatory monocytes, which have a positively charged receptor. It's a fatal attraction. When the inflammatory cell bonds to the microparticle, a signal on the cell is activated that announces it's dying and ready for disposal. The cell then travels to the spleen, the natural path for the removal of dying cells, rather than going to the site of the inflammation.
"We're very excited," King said. "The potential for this simple approach is quite extraordinary. Inflammatory cells pick up immune-modifying microparticles and are diverted down a natural pathway used by the body to dispose of old cells.
It's amazing that such a simple detour limits major tissue damage in such a wide range of diseases."
Keywords for this news article include: Therapy, Monocytes, Cardiology, Immunology, Blood Cells, Heart Attack, Bone Marrow Cells, Mononuclear Leukocytes,
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC
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