Scorpion toxin is tested in medicine in Debrecen

Local News University

Some faculties of  the University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center, just like some other institutions took part in the researches, as a result of what significant results have been maintained in molecular dermatology, in the branch of medicine dealing with increased sebum production and skin tumors. University of Debrecen won a tender in 2009, researches finished in September 2011 about the modification of immune system, for what scorpion toxin had been sent from Mexico.

Tamás Bíró, professor of Department of Physiology ofUniversityofDebrecenmade researches on cannabionids and different skin diseases. As it has turned out, those being present in the human organism and having very similar effects to compounds of marijuana, play an important role in transcellular transport.

As it has turned out, many cannabionid compounds in cannabis plants without any mind-altering effects of THC are able to influence physiological processes of human skin cells, mostly by reducing their sebum production. Being aware of the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids, they can also be used in healing such skin diseases like acnes or skin inflammation.

György Panyi, leader of Department of Biophysics says, that very important steps have been made in modification of immune system. The most important role in the research lead by professor László Szöllősi played T-cells, belonging to white blood cells lymphocytes, which recognize abnormal cells of the organism and bacteria entering to that and destroy them.

But in case of overfunctioning , T-cells may also attack own, well-functioning cells, causing autoimmune diseases; in case of underfunctioning, they may lead to immune deficiency syndrome or development of malignant tumors.

While developing artificial proteins reacting on cells of a certain type of tumor, ability of T-cells recognizing tumors can be strengthened. Returning these artificially produced T-cells to the organism, they strengthen its defense system. But in medical practice they can probably be used in more than 10 years’ time.

Scorpion toxins in treatment of autoimmune diseases

Perfect functioning of the ion channels K+ is essential for cell division. This way inhibition of channel K+ prevents cell division, this way also over- or underfunctioning of T-cells.

Molecules inhibiting channel Kv1.3-s, special ion channels of T-cells, have been discovered, through which autoimmune diseases could be lessened. Proteins for inhibition of the ion channels can be found in toxins of snakes, frogs, scorpions, just like in seaweeds. Scorpion toxin is ensured by a Mexican research team cooperating with the Hungarian stuff.

As medicines for autoimmune diseases can be produced from such inhibitory proteins in the future, Panyi is expressing his hopes for further support for the continuation of the researches on the field of molecular oncology.

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