Repositioning of pentoxifylline as an immunomodulator and regulator of the renin-angiotensin system in the treatment of COVID-19
Loza-Mejía, Marco A.
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Summary in foreign language
Pentoxifylline (PTX) is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor that increases cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels, which in turn activate protein kinase, leading to a reduction in the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines to ultimately influence the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in vitro by inhibiting angiotensin 1 receptor (AT1R) expression. The rheological, anti-inflammatory, and renin-angiotensin axis properties of PTX highlight this drug as a therapeutic treatment alternative for patients with COVID-19 by helping reduce the production of the inflammatory cytokines without deleterious effects on the immune system to delay viral clearance. Moreover, PTX can restore the balance of the immune response, reduce damage to the endothelium and alveolar epithelial cells, improve circulation, and prevent microvascular thrombosis. There is further evidence that PTX can improve ventilatory parameters. Therefore, we propose repositioning PTX in the treatment of COVID-19. The main advantage of repositioning PTX is that it is an affordable drug that is already available worldwide with an established safety profile, further offering the possibility of immediately analysing the result of its use and associated success rates. Another advantage is that PTX selectively reduces the concentration of TNF-α mRNA in cells, which, in the case of an acute infectious state such as COVID-19, would seem to offer a more strategic approach.
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