The results have been so positive that scientists at Manchester are already administering the new therapy to patients who have suffered a stroke episode.
An international team of scientists has discovered that IL-1Ra protein administered in mice suffering from ischemia decreased some effects of the disease.
“The strength of this preclinical study is that administration of IL-1Ra protects the brain after a stroke using different models to induce cerebral ischemia, and has been shown in different laboratories, making it a good candidate for the treatment of ischemic stroke” said Jesus Miguel Pradillo researcher Neurovascular Research Unit of the Complutense University of Madrid who participated in the study while at the University of Manchester, UK, with a postdoc.
Laboratories Finland, France, Germany and Hungary, coordinated by the University of Manchester, conducted studies in young and middle-aged mice, in which they induced ischaemia in different ways and with different durations. Samples of mice were administered with the protein and others were treated with placebo, at 30 and 180 minutes of suffering stroke.
The study results, published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, showed significant improvements in mice treated with IL-1Ra. “Recorded a volume reduction as measured by infarction neuroimaging and post mortem histology , reduced breakage of the blood brain barrier, usually when a stroke occurs, and an improvement in terms of sensorimotor deficits caused by ischemia” said Pradillo.
Tested in patients
Given the good results of this research, which also involved the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungary, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Caen, France, the University of Lubeck, Germany, the University of North South, Bangladesh and University of Nottingham, UK, at the moment two clinical trials are being conducted with patients suffering from cerebral ischemia.
The tests are being conducted at the Hospital Saldford Manchester where participants are being administered with the same protein, IL-1Ra to evaluate their effectiveness.
This protein is the antagonist of IL-1 which is produced and released in large quantities when cerebral ischemia occurs and is responsible, in part, in the brain damage that occurs during the acute phase. To neutralize their effects, the body produces the IL-1 Ra but their amounts are not sufficient to neutralize all of the IL-1 released.