October 01, 2006
Drug Mobilizes Cells For Stroke And Heart Disease Recovery

The experimental drug AMD3100 mobilizes cells responsible for the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and could reduce the extent of lasting damage after a stroke or heart attack.

Recently, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrated that a drug called AMD3100 can mobilize angiogenic cells from bone marrow of human patients in a matter of hours instead of days, as was the case with a related agent called G-CSF.

Angiogenic cells reside mainly in the bone marrow, and when mobilized they can circulate in the bloodstream, homing to sites of injury and helping repair and regrow blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to tissues.

"Like AMD3100, G-CSF can bring these beneficial cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, but with G-CSF you don't see an increase in angiogenic cells until the fourth day," says senior author Daniel C. Link, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology. "In a patient who has had a heart attack, that may be too late. In fact, two clinical trials of G-SCF found the treatment doesn't improve recovery from heart attacks."

In an article in the journal Blood, the researchers showed that AMD3100 caused a 10- to 20-fold increase in certain angiogenic cells in the blood within four hours in human subjects, suggesting the drug could be a more effective treatment for heart attack or stroke.

Harvard Medical School researcher Judah Folkman MD has achieved reknown for his research into anti-angiogenesis compounds to block growth of blood vessels in tumors. Cancer cells develop mutations that cause them to excrete angiogenesis compounds which stimulate blood vessel growth. But as with so many other biological processes, things that cancer cells do can be very beneficial when done by cells which are not cancerous.

Drugs like AMD3100 fit into an even larger category than angiogenesis stimulation. More broadly AMD3100 is yet another compound that stimulates one of the many processes needed for growth and repair. To do rejuvenation we need the ability to turn on (and eventually off) every biological process that produces cells and repairs damage.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 October 01 11:11 AM  Biotech Cardiovascular

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