Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vinpocetine from the periwinkle plant, as a potent anti-inflammatory agent....

Vinpocetine (ethyl apovincaminate (see chemical structure,   is  a  semisynthetic   derivative   of  alkaloid   vincamine - an  extract  from the  periwinkle plant (see picture) Vinca minor) is a well-known natural product that was originally discovered nearly 30 years ago and is currently used as a dietary supplement for the prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders, such as stroke and memory loss, in Europe, Japan and China.
 
The therapy has no evidence of toxicity or noticeable side effects in human patients. Now scientists at the University of Rochester hope to reposition this compound as an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of COPD, and potentially other inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, otitis media, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and psoriasis in the future.
As per the claim by the lead researcher Dr. Jian-Dong Li,  vinpocetine decreases inflammation by targeting the activity of a specific enzyme, known as IKK. IKK is responsible for regulating inflammation, and does so through the activation of a key protein, nuclear-factor kappaB (NF-κB). By directly inhibiting IKK, vinpocetine is able to switch off NF-κB, which normally produces pro-inflammatory molecules that cause inflammation. Halting the activity of NF-κB ultimately reduces inflammation. 
"Given vinpocetine's efficacy and solid safety profile, we believe there is great potential to bring this drug to market." claims co-author,  Dr. Bradford C. Berk...

Inflammatory diseases are a major cause of illness worldwide. For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In people with COPD, airflow is blocked due to chronic bronchitis or emphysema, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Most COPD is caused by long-term smoking, although genetics may play a role as well.....

Ref : http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=2836

1 comment:

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