Cortisone preparations: the cause of the side effects is elucidated

Researchers have the cause of the side effects of cortisone preparations its security

Cortisone is used in numerous diseases successfully, however, it often comes to unwanted side effects – among other things, in the metabolism. Why this is so, could now be investigated by an international team of researchers.

Drug with a wide spectrum of application

Cortisone is prescribed by Doctors for many different diseases. It often occurs in inflammation and allergic reactions. It is applied in skin diseases, rheumatism, Asthma bonchiale, bowel diseases or Multiple sclerosis. Although nothing else has such a range of applications, but many patients have reservations or fear of the side-effects of cortisone. Researchers have now been able to elucidate the cause of certain side-effects of cortisone preparations.

Side effects in the metabolism

In patients on long-term therapy with anti-inflammatory steroids, side effects may occur in the metabolism.

Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU), member of the German center for diabetes research (DZD), could now be investigated, with international colleagues, a mechanism that leads to this so-called Steroid Diabetes.

The results have been published in the scientific magazine “Nature Communications”.

Steroid Diabetes

“Glucocorticoids, such as cortisone have been used for many decades for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as Asthma or rheumatism, and are the most prescribed drug for anti-inflammatory treatment,” explains Prof. Dr. Henriette Uhlenhaut in a message.

“But also in autoimmune diseases, organ transplants, or cancer come to the application,” says the group leader at the Institute for Diabetes and obesity at the Helmholtz Zentrum München (IDO), as well as the gene centre of the LMU.

“According to estimates, will be treated in the Western world, between one and three percent of the people, which would correspond in Germany there are currently over a Million people.”

Their versatile use is, however, limited by various side effects that can occur in therapy. These include unwanted effects on the metabolism.

Because after the glucocorticoids bind to their Receptor in the cells of the body, it begins thus, many genes on and off.

“There are also various metabolic genes, which may result in the consequence of the so-called Steroid Diabetes,” says Henriette Uhlenhaut.

New therapeutic intervention options

In the current study, her Team examined, together with colleagues from the Max-Delbrück-Centrum for Molecular medicine in Berlin, the Salk Institute in San Diego and the University of Freiburg according to the exact mechanisms, which occur after binding of the steroid to the Receptor.

“The transcription factor E47 occurred to us, together with the glucocorticoid Receptor for the altered gene expression, altered specifically in liver cells,” says Charlotte Hemmer, doctoral candidate at the IDO, and first author of the current work.

“This connection we were able to work through genome-wide analyses and genetic experiments.”

To corroborate their findings, studied the scientists of the relationships in a preclinical model.

“Indeed, the Absence of E47 led to a protection against the negative effects of glucocorticoids, during the steroid administration with intact E47 with metabolism was associated changes, such as Überzucker, elevated blood fats or fatty liver,” explains Charlotte inhibitors.

Since the components of the newly found mechanism also exist when people want to Uhlenhaut and your Team to find out together with clinical cooperation partners in the future, whether the results confirm there.

“In this case, new therapeutic intervention could be to offer ways to the side effects of Steroid therapy by safer immunosuppressants to counteract the” hopes Henriette Uhlenhaut. (ad)