Researchers have clarified the cause of side effects with cortisone preparations
Although cortisone is successfully used in many diseases, it often causes unwanted side effects, including metabolism. Why is it so, now an international research team was illuminated.
Medications with a wide range of applications
Cortisone is prescribed by doctors for many different conditions. It is often used for inflammation and allergic reactions. Among other things, it is also administered by skin diseases, rheumatisms, bonquial asthma, intestinal diseases or multiple sclerosis. Although just like no other drug has this type of application, many patients have reservations or fear the side effects of cortisone. Researchers were now able to elucidate the cause of certain side effects with cortisone preparations.
Side effects on metabolism
In patients with long-term anti-inflammatory steroids, side effects in metabolism can occur.
Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), members of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), have been able to elucidate a mechanism with international colleagues leading to this so-called steroid diabetes .
The results have been published in the journal "Nature Communications".
"Glucocorticoids and cortisone have been used for decades to treat inflammatory diseases such as asthma or rheumatism and are the most prescribed preparation for anti-inflammatory treatment," explains Prof. Dr. med. Henriette Uhlenhaut in a message.
"But they are also used for autoimmune diseases, organ transplants or cancer," says the group leader at the Helmholtz Zentrum München Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (IDO) and the Gene Center the LMU.
"According to estimates, between one and three percent of the people of the western world deal with him, which at the moment would correspond to more than one million people in Germany."
However, its versatility is limited by several side effects that can occur during therapy. These include unwanted effects on metabolism.
Because after the glucocorticoids have been linked to the receptor in the body's cells, it begins to activate and deactivate many genes.
"This includes several metabolic genes that, as a result, can cause so-called steroid diabetes," explains Henriette Uhlenhaut.
New options for therapeutic intervention
In the current study, his team, together with colleagues from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Salk Institute of San Diego and the University of Freiburg, investigated the exact mechanisms that follow the " # Binding of the steroids to the receptor.
"We were particularly surprised by the E47 transcription factor, which together with the glucocorticoid receptor provides altered genetic activities, especially in liver cells," says Charlotte Hemmer, Ph.D. student at IDO and the first author of the work current
"We have been able to work on this connection through genomic analysis and genetic experiments".
To test their findings, scientists also examined relationships in a preclinical model.
"In fact, the absence of E47 in this case protected against the negative effects of glucocorticoids, while the administration of steroids to E47 intact was associated with metabolic changes such as the # 39 Hypoglycemia, high blood lipids or fatty liver, "explains Charlotte Hemmer.
Since the components of the mechanism recently found also exist in humans, Uhlenhaut and his team, together with clinical cooperation partners, want to know if the results will be confirmed in the future.
"In this case, they could offer new options for therapeutic intervention to counteract the side effects of steroid therapy with safer immunosuppressive drugs," trusts Henriette Uhlenhaut. (Ad)