Progress reported in reducing diabetic retinopathy
Researchers from UF Health and the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands have shown that a two-drug cocktail is more effective than a single drug at reducing the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy in mouse models. A major cause of vision loss in middle-age diabetes patients, diabetic retinopathy damages blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye. The treatment reduced capillary loss by 68 percent compared with 43 percent with the single drug, said Tuhina Prasad, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the UF College of Medicine’s department of ophthalmology and a co-author of the paper. Known as angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor, the cocktail is a combination of irbesartin (an angiotensin receptor blocker) and the compound thiorphan, a neprilysin inhibitor
— Doug Bennett
Drug trio effective against deadly type of breast cancer in mouse model
A three-drug combination has almost completely suppressed triple-negative breast cancer cells, the deadliest type of breast cancer, during testing in mouse models, according to a group that includes a UF Health researcher. Tumor weights were reduced by about 80 percent in mice that received the drug cocktail for six weeks when compared with control mice, and tumor development almost completely ceased three weeks after treatment began, said Shuang Huang, Ph.D., a professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of anatomy and cell biology. The compounds are forskolin, a compound derived from the Indian coleus plant; probenecid, a gout medication; and rolipram, a potential antidepressant that was discontinued in the 1990s. The compounds supply a high concentration of a signaling molecule known as 8-bromo-cAMP to inhibit cancer cell growth while also preventing it from flowing out of cells and breaking down.
— Doug Bennett
Drugs show promise in muscular dystrophy research
A group of University of Florida Health researchers has found a pair of protein-inhibiting compounds that are effective at slowing the progression of a form of muscular dystrophy in animal models, which could have particular significance for Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients because the drug cocktail can be taken orally and has a good safety profile. The compounds, edasalonexent and CAT-1041, inhibited a protein known as NF-kappa B that controls DNA transcription, drives inflammation and suppresses muscle stem cell regeneration, according to David Hammer, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pharmacology and therapeutics. — Doug Bennett