Compound could help battle Parkinson’s Disease
The compound known as FCS-303 hinders action of the enzyme MAO-B on dopamine which is determinant on human mobility. Up to now tests on mice are promising.Bogotá D. C., 23 de mayo de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
People with the disease may have good quality of life for several years given the ample therapy treatment offer.
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., also known as Mohamed Ali, brought Parkinson’s disease out of anonymity in 1984.
“We discovered that the drug binds to the enzyme monoamine–oxidase B (MAO–B) avoiding it to destroy dopamine, therefore normal levels of the neurotransmitter are preserved,” said Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Pharmaceutical Chemist and Pharmaceutical Sciences doctoral candidate María del Pilar Olaya.
According to Olaya, using FCS–303 as a therapeutic alternative they hope not only to control Parkinson’s symptoms but also achieve neuroprotection effects, in other words avoid neuron death or at least delay neuron death.
The drug was obtained from research on a compound known as coumarin which is present in Hygrophila tyttha plants, also known as the amansamacho plant in Colombia, which in previous research directed by UNal Professor Mario Guerrero showed promising results on the central nervous system.
The process to obtain the compound carried out by UNal and the Universidad of Salamanca (Spain) consisted of synthesizing several molecules adding radicals to coumarin and therefore obtaining FCS–303. In other words, the researchers removed hydrogen molecules and replaced them for other types of molecules, hence modifying its properties.
During the first tests carried out at the laboratory of the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela through in vitro procedures, they applied the drug on MAO–A and MAO–B enzymes. Then when comparing the offsetting effect on both types of enzymes, the compound FCS–303 only blocked the former.
Afterwards tests were performed in five groups of mice. For this they provided reserpine, a natural alkaloid, antipsychotic and antihypertensive drug which reduces dopamine levels. Due to this treatment there were alterations on mice voluntary movements.
Then the first group of mice (control) were supplied solvent without the compound; other three groups received different dosages of FCS–303; and the fifth group (reference), selegiline a known Parkinson’s treatment drug.
It is difficult to measure the tremor grade in mice, therefore the researchers assessed the levels of mobility though the degree of bradykinesia, in other words determine how much slowness of movement the drug could reverse. Using a grid square they determined how many squares mice crossed when they moved.
Mice mobility improved increasing the dosage of FCS–303. Furthermore the movement on the grid was similar to mice that had been given selegiline.
Hence one of the relevant results of this research project was that the new drug could turn into a new treatment alternative for Parkinson’s; furthermore in face of drugs such as Levodopa, which acts on dopamine levels, while FCS–303 acts on the enzyme which affects dopamine.
With the purpose of building a pharmacological profile, Olaya carried out a series of acute toxicity tests. In this case they provided a high dosage drug level all at once. The result was that the compound did not produce damage in vital organs to mice, a very important aspect.
Although the results are promising, Olaya says these studies were performed with short-term parameters. Furthermore they need to assess the effects of this promising drug on other animal models for a period between 3 months and 2 years.(Por: Fin/HVC/DMH/APBL