Emory University
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Inhibiting inflammation

Protecting brain cells from inflammation

Emory scientists have identified a new group of compounds that may protect brain cells from inflammation linked to seizures and neurodegenerative diseases. The compounds block signals from EP2, one of four receptors for prostaglandin E2, which is a hormone involved in fever, childbirth, digestion, and blood pressure regulation. Previously chemicals that could selectively block EP2 were unavailable, but the newly discovered blockers were able to markedly reduce injury to the brain after a prolonged seizure in animals. "Anywhere that inflammation is playing a role via EP2, this class of compounds could be useful," says Emory pharmacology chair Ray Dingledine. That includes epilepsy, stroke, and neurodegenerative disease. Also outside the brain, EP2 blockers could be useful in other diseases with a prominent inflammatory component, such as cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

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