A new mouse study has shown that the drug trodusquemine can melt away the accumulated arterial plaques that lead to heart attacks and strokes. Atherosclerosis is the number one killer in the world.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term used to describe all the conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels and is responsible for almost a third of deaths worldwide.
* the drug is being trialled for treating breast cancer and diabetes has been shown to ‘melt away’ the fat inside arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
All humans have some level of atherosclerosis, regardless of lifestyle and diet. As you age, you start to develop fatty deposits inside your arteries. If you live long enough, these deposits will become a problem.
A research team from the University of Aberdeen showed that a single dose of trodusquemine was able to completely reverse the effects of the disease in just a single dose in mouse models of heart disease.
The model mice with atherosclerosis had less plaque in their arteries when they had regular doses of trodusquemine or just a single dose. The drug works by blocking an enzyme called tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type 1 (PTP1B), which is normally elevated in people with obesity, diabetes and inflammatory conditions, such as sepsis, allergic lung inflammation, and diabetic foot ulcers.
The researchers discovered that blocking PTP1B also stimulated the protein AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This is one of the central regulators of cellular and organismal metabolism in cells, and it is activated when intracellular ATP (cell energy) lowers.
Trodusquemine is currently in phase 1 trials for breast cancer, but this is the first time the drug has been tested in animal models of atherosclerosis.