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Saturday, March 20, 2010


One question that puzzles scientists is: Why thalidomide affects the development of the members and not the rest of the body?. Answer that will teach us to learn from our mistakes. Vargesson Neil (University of Aberdeen/Scotland), recently isolated 30 metabolites of thalidomide and inyected them sequentially into chicken embryos. Thus, the metabolite CPS49 was responsible for the lack of development of members. This metabolite injected within minutes eliminated most developing blood vessels, preventing the blastem of the members reach their final form, determining short arms and legs, ear deformities, malformations of the digestive tract in the developing fetus not causing damage to the rest of the body.

For his part Hiroshi Handa (Tokyo Institute of Technology) after covering thalidomide with microscopic beads, found that a protein called cereblon is strongly linked to thalidomide. By injecting altered cereblon in the wings of chick embryos in combination with thalidomide, she noticed that chicken wings developed normally despite the presence of the drug, concluding that perhaps thalidomide disrupts the function of cereblon. Several researchers are now trying to create less toxic versions of thalidomide.


Una pregunta que intriga a los científicos es : ¿porque la talidomida afecta el desarrollo de los miembros y no al resto del cuerpo?. Respuesta que de un lado nos enseñará a aprender de nuestros errores. Neil Vargesson (University of Aberdeen/Scotland), aisló recientemente 30 metabolitos de la talidomida inyectándolos en forma secuencial en embriones de pollo. Así, determinó que únicamente el metabolito CPS49 era responsable de la falta de desarrollo de los miembros. Este metabolito eliminaba a los pocos minutos de inyectado a la mayoría de vasos sanguíneos en desarrollo, impidiendo que el blastema de los miembros alcance su forma final, determinando brazos y piernas cortas, deformidades de la oreja, malformaciones del tubo digestivo en el feto en desarrollo, no causando daño en el resto del cuerpo.

Por su lado Hiroshi Handa (Tokyo Institute of Technology) tras cubrir bolillas microscópicas con talidomida, notó que la proteina cereblon se unía fuertemente a la talidomida. Al inyectar cereblon alterado en las alas de embriones de pollo conjuntamente con talidomida, notó que los pollos desarrollaban alas normales a pesar de la presencia de talidomida, concluyéndose que la talidomida tal vez interrumpe la función del cereblon. Se intenta ahora crear versiones menos tóxicas de la talidomida.



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