In a recent study conducted at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil, shows that a protein produced by the human body is considered as a new drug candidate that will help in treating conditions leading to acute renal failure. The results of the study were published in Scientific Reports. It indicated that the protein galectin-1 possesses anti-inflammatory properties capable to minimize the damage affecting kidney cells by reperfusion (restoration of blood flow following ischemia) and hypoxia (lack of oxygen); these harmful processes are mostly inborn during transplants and can lead to kidney failure.
Previously, galectin-1 was sold as a recombinant protein (an artificially produced protein). Even though it is not used clinically, but may be used in the future and can act as an alternative to corticosteroids that are used for ischemia-reperfusion injury. According to the first author of the article, Carla Patricia said that this protein minimizes inflammation markers like cytokines that modulate and activate the immune response. Moreover, in the study, they found that the use of this protein minimizes cell death and oxidative stress generated due to damage to cells.
She also added by saying that gelatin-1 grows anti-inflammatory markers and minimizes proinflammatory markers. The study developed from her postdoctoral research through a scholarship from the FAPESP (the São Paulo Research Foundation).
The article defines a simulation of ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats and cultured cells, in which formerly administered galectin-1 had similar effects to those of the corticosteroid dexamethasone.