A topical gel made from blood pressure drugs controls the healing of chronic skin wounds

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blood pressure drugs

A topical gel made from blood pressure drugs

A new topical gel made by a class of common blood pressure drugs that block inflammation pathways speeds the healing of chronic skin wounds in mice and pigs.

The gel used in treatment-resistant skin wounds among diabetics and others, particularly older adults.

“The FDA has not issued any new drug approval for wound healing in the past 10 years,” says, Peter Abadir, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In some times chronic wounds increase the risk of infection and tissue breakdown.

According to study, the skin’s renin-angiotensin system (RAS) system is abnormally regulated in diabetics and older adults.

However, researches experimented with gel formulations of angiotensin II receptors, Losartan, valsartan, a long-standing class of drugs treat hypertension. The drugs block RAS and increase wound blood flow, and also increase wound tissue level of the drugs that promote faster healing.

phases of wound healing

The researchers first tested on mice in three different phases of wound healing. They compared the effects of different concentration on young diabetic and aged mice during the proliferation/remodeling phase of wound healing.

The results showed that valsartan is more effective in accelerating wound healing than losartan, without any significant difference in healing. Totally, 1 percent valsartan had the impact on total closure compared with the other agents, and 10 percent losartan led to the worst wound healing.

However, the researchers tested its effects on diabetic pigs. To compare with pigs in the placebo group, wounds that received 1 percent valsartan healed much more quickly compared with none of the placebo-treated wounds.

The results on pig suggest that the drug acts locally on the tissues where it’s absorbed, rather than affecting the entire body.

For comparison, oral ingestion of valsartan generally yields 4,000 to 5,000 nanomoles in the blood level for a human. This suggests that valsartan will not absorb into the bloodstream and could designed for physiological effects.

At last, to determine the quality of 1 percent valsartan researchers examined collagen content and tensile strength on the pigs’ skin. However, the pigs treated with valsartan had a thicker epidermal layer and dermal collagen layer, also a more organized collagen fiber arrangement, all of which indicate 1 percent valsartan application leads to stronger healing skin.

According to researchers, the topical gel enables positive biological effect that facilitates and accelerates chronic wound healing.

More information: [Journal of Investigative Dermatology]