Anti inflammatory drug may block Stem cell proliferation & Muscle repair mechanism

Anti-inflammatory drug and Muscular dystrophy

Anti inflammatory drug and muscle cell repairSportsperson and peoples who are in the field for physical works are at high risk of getting injuries which affect the muscle cell functioning. Muscular dystrophy which is caused by the genetic mutation in muscle cell which severely affects the normal body functioning.  It’s a common practice in public to take Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug for any pain and stress without knowing the possible side effects of the medicine. FDA has already warned the public of the possible health issues like stroke and heart-related disease which may occur due to the intake of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Further to that in a research, it has been found that those drugs will inhibit the muscle cell repair process after injuries.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in a research related to Muscular dystrophy,  have identified that taking the anti-inflammatory drug after muscle injuries may severely block the normal muscle repair mechanism carried out by the body.

In an experiment with laboratory animal they have found that a metabolite stimulates mouse muscle stem cells to proliferate after injury, and anti-inflammatory drugs, frequently taken after exercise, block its production and inhibit muscle repair.

Have a look at my previous post on the basic Biology of Stem cells and their types.

Anti-inflammatory drug and Muscular dystrophy
Anti-inflammatory drug on Muscle repair process


It’s a normal activity of any tissue to use proliferative stem cells to replace dead and damaged cells in the body. A normal body has a complex biological mechanism to identify and replace the dead and damaged cells of the body without causing any harm to the functioning of the normal body cells. When a tissue is injured by various mechanisms, a molecule is released from the cell which is identified by various kinds of white blood cells which in turn carry out the mechanism to destroy the cell.

In a research, it has been found out that when a molecule released as part of an inflammatory response after muscle injury or rigorous exercise activates muscle stem cells responsible for repairing the damage. They have also found out that a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug frequently taken to reduce the muscle soreness after injury or exercise blocked the production of the metabolite and dramatically inhibited muscle repair in the mice, leading to diminished strength.

Prostaglandin E2, or PGE2, is a metabolite produced by immune cells that infiltrate the muscle fiber as well by the muscle tissue itself in response to injury. Anti-inflammatory treatments have been shown to adversely affect muscle recovery, but because they affect many different pathways.

The researchers reported that treating laboratory mice with a dose of the molecule, a lipid metabolite called prostaglandin E2, just after injury accelerates the animals’ ability to repair the damage and regain muscle strength. This experiment has shown that same mechanism can be used in humans to treat muscle damage by simply augmenting this natural physiological process in existing stem cells already located along the muscle fiber.

Muscle stem cells usually nestle quietly along the muscle fibers. They spring into action when a muscle is damaged by trauma or overuse, dividing rapidly to generate enough muscle cells to repair the injury. But it’s not entirely clear what signals present in inflammation activate the stem cells.

The researchers have found that muscle stem cells that had undergone injury displayed an increase in the expression of a gene encoding for a receptor called EP4, which binds to PGE2. Furthermore, they showed that the levels of PGE2 in the muscle tissue increased dramatically within a three-day period after injury, indicating it is a transient, naturally occurring immune modulator. 

A new hope for patients with Muscular Dystrophy disease:

FDA approval of Hemacord, a hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy has given a big boost to the stem cell research all over the world. Few of the existing Stem cell therapies have shown a positive result with no or fewer side effects. Peoples are more attracted towards cost-effective stem cell treatment than the Chemotherapy or surgery based treatment which most of the time produces severe side effects or may lead to some other minor diseases.

have a look at this post if you want to know about Stem cell therapy and if you want to know the Pros and Cons of Autologous and Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy.

This research which mainly focuses on Stem cell proliferation based treatment has brought a new hope for peoples suffering from a genetic disease like muscular dystrophy and for peoples with muscle injuries due to various physical activities like a various sportsperson, peoples working in the field etc.

Stem cell therapy is a new discovery which most of the patients won’t explore or have been attracted by false marketing which claims to treat the disease using Stem Cell Transplantation. Check out this to have an idea about the some of the common frequently asked question about Stem cell therapy that your doctors are offering.

What is Muscular dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy is an X-chromosomal linked genetic disorder which affects the muscle cells. It usually develops after inheriting a faulty gene from one or both parents. The cause of the disease is due to the mutation in the genes involved in the synthesis of muscle proteins which is responsible for healthy muscle structure and function.

The known symptoms of the diseases include muscle weakness, trouble in walking, standing and in severe cases it will lead to the breakdown of skeletal muscle leading to a lack of movement of most of the body parts. There are around 20-30 different category of muscular dystrophy-related disease depending on the type of muscle cells affected by a different location of the human body. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) which affects males beginning around the age of four is the most common type of muscle related disease among the various types of muscular dystrophy. Other types include Becker muscular dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, and myotonic dystrophy.

Till now there is no treatment available to treat patients affected muscle dystrophy. The chemotherapy drug available to Muscular Dystrophy works temporarily by reducing the pain or by preventing the muscle weakness for the only short duration of time.

Ongoing research:

With the advancement in the healthcare industry scientist are more focused on the development of treatment for the rare and genetic diseases which are with fewer side effects. Generative medicine using stem cell transplantation and Gene therapy are the two main focused area of research which most of the healthcare professional are looking forward to treating the diseases like Muscular Dystrophy. These therapies have shown a positive result in the initial stage of clinical research which brings a new hope for peoples suffering from diseases which can’t be cured by other treatments. Generally, drug discovery process for any disease usually takes 10-20 years to complete all the clinical trial and to produce the final product which has been optimized for any side effects. As most of the research related to Muscular Dystrophy are still in the initial phase of clinical trial, it will be a long wait for people’s looking for treatment for this disease unless it has been granted Accelerated Approval by FDA.

Check out my previous post about the importance of Orphan drug designation by FDA for the development of a drug for the rare disease.

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