Novel Therapy May Help Sepsis and Stroke Outcomes

Inflammation is a prolonged response of the body to injury. It aims to aid the body to heal. But in some cases, inflammation can get out of control and cause further damage. This is true for people who experience threatening life events such as sepsis and stroke. Preventing post-stroke inflammation may be vital to one’s survival after the actual event. The same is true with people who experiences sepsis. A new study suggests of a new method that will help prevent serious inflammatory responses following a stroke or sepsis.

Sepsis is a medical emergency wherein the body’s reaction to injury gets out of control. If not addressed, the inflammatory response can cause massive organ failure and even death. In the case of a stroke, it occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly blocked, leading to organs oxygen-deprived and receive further damage as a result. The new study by researchers from Washington State University in Pullman shows potential in a new method to prevent damage caused by further inflammation in the body.

In the said study, researchers focused their attention to neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that helps influence the immune system’s response to injury. Although these white blood cells play an important role in maintaining the immune system, their response can get out of control in such events like sepsis and stroke. The said cells tend to over accumulate in healthy tissue beyond the expected time period.  At this point, neutrophils cannot distinguish the threats to the body. They just continue to attack by releasing several harmful proteins into the bloodstream. This can lead to further damage.

It is not the first attempt from researchers to try and find for ways to destroy the harmful activated neutrophils before they wreak havoc and start killing healthy tissue. Previous attempts have led to drugs that killed the active neutrophils. But the activated neutrophils also attacked those same types of cells that remain at rest.

In order to address the problem, the researchers came up with a possible solution making use of nanotechnology to do the job. They tried to target a receptor called the Fc-gamma receptor, which is found on the surface of neutrophils. Activated neutrophils seem to express more Fc-gamma receptors. They then filled nanoparticles that can attach to the said receptors with a drug called doxorubicin albumin.

According to Zhenjia Wang, the study author, “Our experiment found that our doxorubicin albumin nanoparticles can decrease the lifespan of harmful neutrophils in the bloodstream. More importantly, we also found that our nanoparticles don’t inhibit the neutrophils’ function in the bone marrow,” Wang Further added.

The researchers also tested this method to mouse models of ischemic stroke and sepsis. The results prove to be successful. The nanoparticles carrying doxorubicin helped lower neurological damage in mouse models of stroke. It also helped increase survival rates. Wang and the team will need further testing, developing, and refining the novel method in order to make them safe and viable for human clinical trials in the future. The said study recently appeared in the journal Science Advances.

Source: Medical News Today



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