Cushing disease is caused by the pituitary gland tumor in the brain. Tumor excessively secret stress hormones ACTH, then the adrenal glands to release cortisol, lead to rapid weight gain, high blood pressure and muscle weakness. Cushing disease patients are prone to osteoporosis, infection and cognitive dysfunction and even depression. In 80 to 85% of Cushing disease patients, pituitary tumors can be removed by brain surgery.
For the case can’t be operated, now there is only a targeted therapy, but unfortunately it can cause severe side reaction, more than 20% of the patients would have high blood sugar. Endocrinologist Study Leader Gunter Stalla uses cell culture techniques, animal models and human tumor tissues to found a harmless plant extract can be used in the treatment of Cushing disease
Silibinin is the main active ingredient in milk thistle seeds, it is prominently security for humanity, and has been used in the treatment of liver diseases and poisoning. The new study was published in Nature Medicine magazine. After treated with silibinin, ACTH in tumor cells returned to normal, tumor growth slowed, mouse’s Cushing disease symptoms disappear.
Among the 100000, only 5.5 people will suffer from Cushing disease, but this disease is very common in the pet. For example, 4% of dogs, and even 7% of the horses may get Cushing disease.
As we know, Cushing disease is caused by adrenocorticotropic hormone excessively released. But it is unknown what causes adrenocorticotropic hormone excessively generated and how to prevent it. In the experiments, the researchers found that heat shock protein 90(HSP90) in tumor tissues of Cushing disease patients has very high quantity. Normal amount of HSP90 help correctly fold another protein – glucocorticoid receptors, and to inhibit the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone.
Because there are too many HSP90 molecules in tumor tissues, they combines with glucocorticoid receptors, Paez-Pereda explains, we found, silibinin can combine with HSP90, thereby releases the glucocorticoid receptor molecules from HSP90. Silibinin may provide a noninvasive treatment strategy, not only is benefit for Cushing disease, even for glucocorticoid receptors are involved in other diseases such as lung cancer, acute lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma. In addition, silibinin have a certain effect on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2.
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