A New Purpose
Could an FDA-approved asthma medication offer a therapeutic pathway for diabetic retinopathy?
Phoebe Harkin | | Hot Topic
Montelukast – a leukotriene inhibitor – is well known to asthma sufferers, who benefit from its proven ability to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath. But researchers believe it may have a new indication: diabetic retinopathy. A team at the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine studied the effect of montelukast on diabetic retinopathy – a condition characterized by neuronal and vascular degeneration – using a mouse model of type 1 diabetes. The results were impressive: after nine months, the retinal microvasculature from untreated diabetic mice demonstrated a nearly threefold increase in capillary degeneration compared to mice treated with montelukast. We spoke to senior author Rose Gubitosi-Klug, Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at UH Rainbow and the William T. Dahms Professor of Pediatrics at CWRU School of Medicine, to find out more.
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