Suramin — a well-known inhibitor of purinergic signaling used medically for the treatment of African sleeping sickness since shortly after it was synthesized in 1916 — in mice. They found that this APT mediator corrected autism-like symptoms in the animal (mouse) model, even if the treatment was started well after the onset of symptoms. The drug restored 17 types of multi-symptom abnormalities including normalizing brain synapse structure, cell-to-cell signaling, social behavior, motor coordination and normalizing mitochondrial metabolism.
“The striking effectiveness shown in this study using APT to ‘reprogram’ the cell danger response and reduce inflammation showcases an opportunity to develop a completely new class of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat autism and several other disorders.” said researchers.
Drug treatment corrects autism symptoms in mouse model
Autism results from abnormal cell communication. Testing a new theory, researchers have used a newly discovered function of an old drug to restore cell communications in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the devastating disorder.