Molecular receptor in testosterone heals wounds quickly

January 5th, 2010 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 5 (IANS) A molecular receptor vital to the functioning of male hormone testosterone also plays a key role in healing.
In mice studies, University of Rochester Medical Centre (URMC) scientists found that this receptor, the androgen receptor, delays wound healing. However, when they blocked the receptor with an experimental compound, wounds healed much more quickly.

“Turning off the androgen receptor only where you want to, and nowhere else, could lead to new treatments for diseases like prostate cancer and for speeding wound healing,” said Edward Messing, urologist and surgeon at the URMC, not involved in the study.

“Currently there is no way of preventing androgens in your body from reaching just one particular wound or one specific part of the body,” said Messing.

“To stop them anywhere, you need to turn off androgens throughout the body, which has severe and unpleasant side effects, particularly in men,” added Messing.

“For people at the marginal end of health - the elderly, or people who have impaired healing for other reasons, such as diabetes - may be blocking the androgen receptor in certain cells could speed up wound healing and help prevent infections,” he added.

The work was led by Chawnshang Chang, director of the George Whipple Lab for Cancer Research, an expert on androgen receptor.

“Many inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis and asthma, manifest themselves differently in the genders, indicating that sexual hormones could be involved,” said Chang, according to a George Whipple release.

By identifying the androgen receptor as a key player in at least one form of inflammation, the work opens a new window for investigating differences between the genders when it comes to autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.

These findings appeared in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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