UA-45667900-1
Showing posts with label Sytrinol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sytrinol. Show all posts

Friday, 2 October 2015

Is dysregulated IP3R calcium signaling a nexus where genes altered in ASD converge to exert their deleterious effect?





Place de l'Étoile in Paris and the avenues radiating from it.  The Arc de Triomphe in the centre would be the IP3 receptor



There are a small number of researchers in the field of autism who really do seem to know what they are talking about;  one of those is Jay Gargus, from University of California at Irvine.  He is one of the few well versed on ion channel dysfunctions (channelopathies).  Today we look at his recent paper relating to the IP3R calcium channel in something called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).

Gargus’ recent findings relate to calcium signaling, which we have seen previously in this blog to be dysfunctional in autism.  Blocking one type of calcium channel, with Verapamil, has had a remarkable effect in the children of some of those reading this blog; this has included resolving aggressive behavior, resolving GI problems and, most recently, greatly reducing seizures.  An interesting side effect of this drug is that it protects older people from Type 2 diabetes.

We will also encounter yet another kind of stress, ER stress (endoplasmic reticulum stress), which plays a role in many disorders including Type 2 diabetes and is suggested by some Japanese researchers to play a role in autism.  Interestingly some of my pet autism interventions are known to affect ER stress.

As usual in this blog, I will skip some of the complexities, but we do need to know some new words.  The explanation is mainly courtesy of the remarkable Wikipedia.


Organelle

In cell biology, an organelle is a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function.  Individual organelles are usually separately enclosed within their own lipid bilayers.  These lipid bilayers are also extremely important and need to be perfectly intact.  It does appear that these lipid bilayers are a little different in autism.











Components of a typical animal cell:

  1.     Nucleolus
  2.     Nucleus
  3.     Ribosome (little dots)
  4.    Vesicle
  5.    Rough endoplasmic reticulum
  6.    Golgi apparatus (or "Golgi body")
  7.    Cytoskeleton
  8.   Smooth endoplasmic reticulum
  9.   Mitochondrion
  10.   Vacuole
  11.   Cytosol (fluid that contains organelles)
  12.    Lysosome
  13.    Centrosome
  14.    Cell membrane



Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and ER Stress

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the cellular organelle in which protein folding, calcium homeostasis, and lipid biosynthesis occur. Stimuli such as oxidative stress, ischemic insult, disturbances in calcium homeostasis, and enhanced expression of normal and/or folding-defective proteins lead to the accumulation of unfolded proteins, a condition referred to as ER stress.


Inositol trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R) or IP3R

IP3R is a Ca2+ channel activated by inositol trisphosphate (InsP3). InsP3R is very diverse among organisms, and is necessary for the control of cellular and physiological processes including cell division, cell proliferation, apoptosis, fertilization, development, behavior, learning and memory. Inositol triphosphate receptor represents a dominant second messenger leading to the release of Ca2+ from intracellular store sites.

It has a broad tissue distribution but is especially abundant in the cerebellum. Most of the InsP3Rs are found in the cell integrated into the endoplasmic reticulum.


Genes and autism

It is a widely held view that autism is essentially a genetic condition with some environmental triggers.

What is strange is that many hundreds, and later I suspect thousands, of genes are known to be implicated.  Do these lead to thousands of unique dysfunctions that ultimately manifest themselves as what we, rather clumsily, describe as “autism”?  This appears to be unlikely, more likely is that a much smaller number of downstream dysfunctions are involved.  This is behind what is suggested later by Gargus.

What I have always found odd is that siblings with idiopathic autism do NOT generally share the same genetic variations.  Most autism is called idiopathic, which means of unknown cause.  This is why I have not done any genetic testing on my son.

If siblings have Fragile X, then of course they do have the same genetic defect; the brother will likely be much more severely affected than the sister.

It occurs to me that unless the idiopathic autistic siblings live under some high voltage power cables, next to a TV transmitter or a chemical factory, the genetic testing must be missing something.  We have seen that sequencing the exome, the current “ultimate genetic test”, in fact only looks at 5% of genome.  We have also seen that in the remaining 95% are the so called enhancers and silencers of the genes in the exome.  We have also seen that overexpression of a perfect gene (as in Down syndrome) can do as much damage as a faulty gene.

My advice is to look in the remaining 95% of the genome.



Gargus, IP3R and Autism

Having completed the introduction now we can move on to the Gargus paper.

He is suggesting that a dysfunction at a specific calcium channel in the ER may be the common dysfunction triggered by “autism genes”.

So far he has only tested his idea on some single gene autisms, fragile X and tuberous sclerosis.
 





Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 2% of children, and is characterized by impaired social and communication skills together with repetitive, stereotypic behavior. The pathophysiology of ASD is complex due to genetic and environmental heterogeneity, complicating the development of therapies and making diagnosis challenging. Growing genetic evidence supports a role of disrupted Ca2+ signaling in ASD. Here, we report that patient-derived fibroblasts from three monogenic models of ASD—fragile X and tuberous sclerosis TSC1 and TSC2 syndromes—display depressed Ca2+ release through inositol trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs). This was apparent in Ca2+ signals evoked by G protein-coupled receptors and by photoreleased IP3 at the levels of both global and local elementary Ca2+ events, suggesting fundamental defects in IP3R channel activity in ASD. Given the ubiquitous involvement of IP3R-mediated Ca2+ signaling in neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, gene expression and neurodevelopment, we propose dysregulated IP3R signaling as a nexus where genes altered in ASD converge to exert their deleterious effect. These findings highlight potential pharmaceutical targets, and identify Ca2+ screening in skin fibroblasts as a promising technique for early detection of individuals susceptible to ASD.


This part I found interesting:-

Because of the ubiquitous nature of IP3R signaling and its diverse roles in almost all cells of the body, deficits in IP3-mediated Ca2+ signaling may not be limited to neurological correlates of ASD, but may also explain other characteristic ASD-associated heterogeneous symptoms, such as those of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system.  Furthermore, since the ER serves as a sensor of a host of environmental stressors, this same mechanism may contribute to the known environmental component
to the ASD phenotype, and holds the potential to reveal relevant stressors.

Is it a coincidence that the Verapamil therapy I propose also benefits autism symptoms linked to the gastrointestinal tract and immune system (mast cells/allergy) and also now seizures (hyper excitability)?  I think not,



Here is the rather easier to read press release from the University:-

UCI researchers find biomarker for autism that may aid diagnostics




Irvine, Calif., Sept. 22, 2015 — By identifying a key signaling defect within a specific membrane structure in all cells, University of California, Irvine researchers believe, they have found both a possible reliable biomarker for diagnosing certain forms of autism and a potential therapeutic target.

Dr. J. Jay Gargus, Ian Parker and colleagues at the UCI Center for Autism Research & Translation examined skin biopsies of patients with three very different genetic types of the disorder (fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis 1 and 2). They discovered that a cellular calcium signaling process involving the inositol trisphosphate receptor was very much altered.

This IP3R functional defect was located in the endoplasmic reticulum, which is among the specialized membrane compartments in cells called organelles, and may underpin cognitive impairments – and possibly digestive and immune problems – associated with autism.

“We believe this finding will be another arrow in the quiver for early and accurate diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders,” said Gargus, director of the Center for Autism Research & Translation and professor of pediatrics and physiology & biophysics. “Equally exciting, it also presents a target of a molecular class already well-established to be useful for drug discovery.”

Study results appear online in Translational Psychiatry, a Nature publication.

Autism spectrum disorder is a range of complex neurodevelopmental disorders affecting 2 percent of U.S. children. The social and economic burden of ASD is enormous, currently estimated at more than $66 billion per year in the U.S. alone. Drug development has proven problematic due to the limited understanding of the underlying causes of ASD, as demonstrated by the recent failure of several much anticipated drug trials.

There are also no current, reliable diagnostic biomarkers for ASD. Genetic research has identified hundreds of genes that are involved, which impedes diagnosis and, ultimately, drug development. There simply may be too many targets, each with too small an effect.

Many of these genes associated with ASD, however, have been found to be part of the same signaling pathway, and multiple defects in this pathway may converge to produce a large functional change.

The UCI scientists detected such a convergence in the IP3R calcium channel in an organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum. Organelles are membrane structures within cells with specialized cellular functions. According to Gargus, diseases of the organelles, such as the ER, are an emerging field in medicine, with several well-recognized neurological ailments linked to two other ones, the mitochondria and lysosomes.

The IP3R controls the release of calcium from the ER. In the brain, calcium is used to communicate information within and between neurons, and it activates a host of other cell functions, including ones regulating learning and memory, neuronal excitability and neurotransmitter release – areas known to be dysfunctional in ASD.
“We propose that the proper function of this channel and its signaling pathway is critical for normal performance of neurons and that this signaling pathway represents a key ‘hub’ in the pathogenesis of ASD,” said Parker, a fellow of London’s Royal Society and UCI professor of neurobiology & behavior, who studies cellular calcium signaling.

To see if IP3R function is altered across the autism spectrum, clinical researchers at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders – which is affiliated with the Center for Autism Research & Translation – are currently expanding the study and have begun to examine children with and without typical ASD for the same signaling abnormalities. These patients undergo complete behavioral diagnostic testing, and sophisticated EEG, sleep and biochemical studies are performed. This includes the sequencing of their entire genome. Also, skin cell samples are cultured and made available to lab-based researchers for functional assays.

In the area of drug discovery, scientists at the Center for Autism Research & Translation continue to probe the IP3R channel, specifically how it regulates the level of neuron excitability. The brains of people who have autism show signs of hyperexcitability, which is also seen in epilepsy, a disorder increasingly found to be associated with ASD. Cells from individuals who have autism exhibit depressed levels of calcium signaling, and this might explain why these patients experience this hyperexcitability. By restoring the release of calcium from the IP3R, the researchers believe, they can apply a “brake” on this activity.




ER Stress

As we saw above, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the cellular organelle in which protein folding, calcium homeostasis, and lipid biosynthesis occur. Stimuli such as oxidative stress, ischemic insult, disturbances in calcium homeostasis, and enhanced expression of normal and/or folding-defective proteins lead to the accumulation of unfolded proteins, a condition referred to as ER stress.
We know that we usually have oxidative stress in autism and we know that calsium homeostasis is disturbed, so it is not surprising if we found ER stress in autism.

The following paper is not open access but it does suggest that ER stress leads to impaired synaptic function and specifically GABAB dysfunction.  If you respond well to Baclofen, you likely have a GABAB dysfunction.  Based on anecdotal evidence I would suggest that people with Asperger’s and anxiety might well have ER stress, since they are the ones that respond well to baclofen.




The molecular pathogenesis of ASD (autism spectrum disorder), one of the heritable neurodevelopmental disorders, is not well understood, although over 15 autistic-susceptible gene loci have been extensively studied. A major issue is whether the proteins that these candidate genes encode are involved in general function and signal transduction. Several mutations in genes encoding synaptic adhesion molecules such as neuroligin, neurexin, CNTNAP (contactin-associated protein) and CADM1 (cell-adhesion molecule 1) found in ASD suggest that impaired synaptic function is the underlying pathogenesis. However, knockout mouse models of these mutations do not show all of the autism-related symptoms, suggesting that gain-of-function in addition to loss-of-function arising from these mutations may be associated with ASD pathogenesis. Another finding is that family members with a given mutation frequently do not manifest autistic symptoms, which possibly may be because of gender effects, dominance theory and environmental factors, including hormones and stress. Thus epigenetic factors complicate our understanding of the relationship between these mutated genes and ASD pathogenesis. We focus in the present review on findings that ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress arising from these mutations causes a trafficking disorder of synaptic receptors, such as GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) B-receptors, and leads to their impaired synaptic function and signal transduction. In the present review we propose a hypothesis that ASD pathogenesis is linked not only to loss-of-function but also to gain-of-function, with an ER stress response to unfolded proteins under the influence of epigenetic factors.



I was surprised how much is known about ER stress, there is even a scientific journal devoted to it.

As is often the case, the literature is again full papers like the one below suggesting something, ER stress in this case, is a good drug target, but then do not suggest any drugs.





Abstract
Cardiovascular disease constitutes a major and increasing health burden in developed countries. Although treatments have progressed, the development of novel treatments for patients with cardiovascular diseases remains a major research goal. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the cellular organelle in which protein folding, calcium homeostasis, and lipid biosynthesis occur. Stimuli such as oxidative stress, ischemic insult, disturbances in calcium homeostasis, and enhanced expression of normal and/or folding-defective proteins lead to the accumulation of unfolded proteins, a condition referred to as ER stress. ER stress triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR) to maintain ER homeostasis. The UPR involves a group of signal transduction pathways that ameliorate the accumulation of unfolded protein by increasing ER-resident chaperones, inhibiting protein translation and accelerating the degradation of unfolded proteins. The UPR is initially an adaptive response but, if unresolved, can lead to apoptotic cell death. Thus, the ER is now recognized as an important organelle in deciding cell life and death. There is compelling evidence that the adaptive and proapoptotic pathways of UPR play fundamental roles in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure, ischemic heart diseases, and atherosclerosis. Thus, therapeutic interventions that target molecules of the UPR component and reduce ER stress will be promising strategies to treat cardiovascular diseases. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in understanding UPR signaling in cardiovascular disease and its related therapeutic potential. Future studies may clarify the most promising molecules to be investigated as targets for cardiovascular diseases.


However all is not lost, a little digging uncovers several existing substances that affect ER Stress.

Atorvastatin, long part of my autism Polypill, is quite prominent.  Atorvastatin is lipophilic statin, which means it can better cross the blood brain barrier.  By chance it is the statin with the least side effects.




Statins inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, target mevalonic acid synthesis, and limit cholesterol biosynthesis. HMG-CoA reductase is expressed in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Statins are prescribed to prevent cardiovascular events.
In cultured neonatal mouse cardiac myocytes the lipophilic statin atorvastatin and the hydrophilic statin pravastatin both up-regulated PDI, indicating unfolded protein response (UPR) meant to relieve ER stress. Only atorvastatin increased ER stress, growth arrest, and induced apoptosis via induction of CHOP, Puma, active Caspase-3 and PARP. Dose-dependent release of LDH was only observed in atorvastatin treated cells (1–10 μM). Hearts of mice treated with atorvastatin (5mg/kg/day for 7 months) showed protein aggresomes and autophagosomes when compared to vehicle treated controls. While atorvastatin changed mitochondrial ultrastructure, no differences in cardiac function, exercise ability or creatine kinase levels were found.
We show differential activation of ER stress by atorvastatin and pravastatin in cardiac myocytes. Our results provide a novel mechanism through which specific statins therapeutically modulate the balance of UPR/ER stress responses thereby possibly influencing cardiac remodeling.






Cerebral ischemia triggers secondary ischemia/reperfusion injury and endoplasmic reticulum stress initiates cell apoptosis. However, the regulatory mechanism of the signaling pathway remains unclear. We hypothesize that the regulatory mechanisms are mediated by the protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase/eukaryotic initiation factor 2α in the endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling pathway. To verify this hypothesis, we occluded the middle cerebral artery in rats to establish focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion model. Results showed that the expression levels of protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase and caspase-3, as well as the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, were increased after ischemia/reperfusion. Administration of atorvastatin decreased the expression of protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase, caspase-3 and phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, reduced the infarct volume and improved ultrastructure in the rat brain. After salubrinal, the specific inhibitor of phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α was given into the rats intragastrically, the expression levels of caspase-3 and phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α in the were decreased, a reduction of the infarct volume and less ultrastructural damage were observed than the untreated, ischemic brain. However, salubrinal had no impact on the expression of protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase. Experimental findings indicate that atorvastatin inhibits endoplasmic reticulum stress and exerts neuroprotective effects. The underlying mechanisms of attenuating ischemia/reperfusion injury are associated with the protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase/eukaryotic initiation factor 2α/caspase-3 pathway.





ABSTRACT
The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) is an important target in diabetes therapy, but its direct role, if any, in the restoration of islet function has remained controversial. To identify potential molecular mechanisms of PPAR-γ in the islet, we treated diabetic or glucose-intolerant mice with the PPAR-γ agonist pioglitazone or with a control. Treated mice exhibited significantly improved glycemic control, corresponding to increased serum insulin and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin release and Ca2+ responses from isolated islets in vitro. This improved islet function was at least partially attributed to significant upregulation of the islet genes Irs1, SERCA, Ins1/2, and Glut2 in treated animals. The restoration of the Ins1/2 and Glut2 genes corresponded to a two- to threefold increase in the euchromatin marker histone H3 dimethyl-Lys4 at their respective promoters and was coincident with increased nuclear occupancy of the islet methyltransferase Set7/9. Analysis of diabetic islets in vitro suggested that these effects resulting from the presence of the PPAR-γ agonist may be secondary to improvements in endoplasmic reticulum stress. Consistent with this possibility, incubation of thapsigargin-treated INS-1 β cells with the PPAR-γ agonist resulted in the reduction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and restoration of Pdx1 protein levels and Set7/9 nuclear occupancy. We conclude that PPAR-γ agonists exert a direct effect in diabetic islets to reduce endoplasmic reticulum stress and enhance Pdx1 levels, leading to favorable alterations of the islet gene chromatin architecture.


PPAR-γ agonist pioglitazone is known to have a positive effect in some autism, but it does have side effects.

Other PPAR-γ agonists include Ibuprofen and Tangeretin (sold as Sytrinol).

ER stress plays a key role in diabetes and some obesity.









Conclusion

So as to Gargus’ question and the tittle of this post:

Is dysregulated IP3R calcium signaling a nexus where genes altered in ASD converge to exert their deleterious effect?

The researchers are now looking at children with and without idiopathic autism to see if dysregulated IP3R calcium is indeed a reliable marker.

Given so many things can lead to behavior diagnosed as autism, I think they will just identify an IP3R cluster.  Hopefully it is a big one.  Then they can find a therapy to  release calcium from IP3R.

Where does ER stress fit into this picture?  Gargus briefly mentions stressors and unfolded protein responses:-

In addition to its role in Ca2+ homeostasis, the ER serves as a key integrator of environmental stressors with metabolism and gene expression, as it mediates a host of broad ranging cell stress responses such as the heat shock and unfolded protein responses

I think he is missing something here. 

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the cellular organelle in which lipid biosynthesis occurs as well as protein folding and calcium homeostasis.

I suspect all three may be dysfunctional.  We have ample evidence of lipid abnormalities in autism and even lipid bilayer abnormalities. The Japanese research referred to above suggests protein folding dysfunction.  Note that what reduces ER stress (statins and tangeretin) also reduces cholesterol.

The good news is that plenty of therapeutic avenues already exist.

The other good news is that after 261 posts of this blog, so many pieces of the autism puzzle seem to be fitting together, not perfectly, but well enough to figure out how to treat multiple aspects of classic autism.

I did stumble across a recent quote by Ricardo Dolmetsch, formerly of Stanford and currently Global Head of Neuroscience at drug maker Novartis.  He also has a son with classic autism.  He was quoted again saying there are currently no drug treatments for core autism.  He knows a thousand times more about biology than me, but he is totally wrong to keep saying that there is nothing you can do beyond behavioral education and, if that fails, institutionalization.  I did write to him a while back and I do feel rather sorry for him, since it was his research on Timothy Syndrome that indirectly led to my Verapamil “discovery”.

Some people are just too clever (him, not me).





Monday, 27 July 2015

Verapamil, Autism, Summertime Allergy, Asthma and Eczema


















As the symptoms get stronger, so does the therapy, 
going up in steps from May to July/August and then down to October


Today’s post is a practical one.  There is an interesting scientific one in preparation all about applying the emerging science of gene silencers and enhancers. 

I discovered in previous years that the summertime raging exhibited by Monty, now aged 12 with ASD, could be prevented using a small dose of the L-type calcium channel blocker, Verapamil.  Verapamil is also a mast cell stabilizer and blocks potassium channels linked to some inflammatory response.

This summer the story has repeated itself.  As the amount of airborne allergens increases from spring to summer the same seemingly mild allergy symptoms return.  So in late spring there was some sneezing and by mid-summer some eczema (atopic dermatitis) behind the knees and finally a very mild amount of asthma (slight wheezing); all of which were easily treated.

This apparently mild allergy triggers a flare-up in autism that is anything but mild.  To treat that the “silver bullet”, so to speak, is Verapamil.  It has a short half-life and so after 3-4 hours, depending on the initial dose, the effect is lost.  So in the peak of the allergy season, 20 mg every 4 hours provides near guaranteed protection.  Skipping a dose, like first one in the morning, will almost guarantee a mood change to agitation and then extreme anger.  That mood reverses within a few minutes of treatment again with Verapamil.

In late spring and early summer the use of allergy treatments (Azelastine, plus quercetin) and verapamil twice a day keeps things all under control.  But once the first faint signs of asthma reappear, due to the growing allergy effect, the only way to maintain normalcy is to make more frequent use of small doses of verapamil.  Using more antioxidants (NAC) does not have any effect; the verapamil addresses a summertime need.

In a previous post I did mention that I tried verapamil on a winter-time flare-up, just to see.  It had no effect whatsoever.  That problem was traced back to losing milk teeth and was solved with some ibuprofen, which was later replaced with Sytrinol/Tangeretin, the PPAR gamma agonist.  

Some children with autism are treated long term with Ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs, on a daily basis.  I have no doubt that it can be effective in specific cases, but the known side effects made me look for a safe alternative, which turned out to be Sytrinol.  Sytrinol has exactly the same effect as Ibuprofen, for this kind of flare-up, with no apparent side effect. Sytrinol is not a painkiller.

Since the roots of the final four milk teeth take several months to melt away and all the time levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 are raised, there will be recurring behavioral flare-ups in those with the kind of over-activated immune system common in autism.  It seems plausible that the PPAR gamma agonist is down regulating  the activated microglia and thus blunting the immune over-reaction.  Anyway it works, for whatever reason.

The mast cells, degranulating due to allergens, release histamine and IL-6, the histamine causes further subsequent release of IL-6. Verapamil blocks this process.  The IL-6 released by the body to signal teeth to dissolve clearly is not reduced by Verapamil. 

The amount of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 etc) produced by allergy is logically over a different order of magnitude to that used to signal milk teeth to dissolve.  The effect of Sytrinol is perhaps too mild to sufficiently dampen the response to the IL-6.   Maybe it helps somewhat, but I really cannot say one way or the other.

There seems to be a good case for Sytrinol year round and then Verapamil as required.  When I next update my Polypill formulation, Sytrinol will be included.

I think Verapamil likely has beneficial pleiotropic effects and so, in those who well tolerate it, it might be useful year round.  A small number of people do experience side effects.
     







Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Tangeretin vs Ibuprofen, as PPARγ agonists for Autism. What about PPARγ for Epilepsy?




Summary of the therapeutic actions of PPARγ in diabetic nephropathy


I did write an earlier post about NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Ibuprofen, which I expected to have no effect on autism.

  


However, to my surprise, I found that certain types of autism “flare-up” do respond very well to Ibuprofen.  Based on the comments I received, it seems that many other people have the same experience.

NSAIDs work by inhibiting something called COX-2, but they also inhibit COX-1.  The side effects of NSAIDs come from their unwanted effect on COX-1.

NSAIDs are both pain relievers and, in high doses, anti-inflammatory.  Long term use of NSAIDs is not recommended, due to their (COX-1 related) side effects.


Observational Study

All I can say is that in Monty, aged 11 with ASD, and with his last four milk teeth wobbly but refusing to come out, the increase in the cytokine IL-6 that the body uses to signal the roots of the milk teeth to dissolve seems to account for some of his flare-ups.  I do not think it is anything to do with pain.

This is fully treatable with occasional use of Ibuprofen and then “extreme behaviours” are entirely avoided.


Sytrinol (Tangeretin) vs Ibuprofen

Since Ibuprofen, when given long term, has known problems, I looked for something else.

On my list of things to investigate has been “selective PPAR gamma agonists”, which is quite a mouthful.  The full name is even longer.  The nuclear transcription factor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARy) regulates genes in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and mitochondrial pathways.  All three of these pathways are affected in autism.

We already know that non-selective PPARy agonists, like pioglitazone, developed to treat type 2 diabetes, can be used to treat autism.  The problem is that being “non-selective” they can have nasty side effects, leading to Pioglitazone being withdrawn in some markets.
  

  
While looking for a “better” PPARγ agonist, I came across the flavonoid Tangeretin, which is commercially available in a formulation called Sytrinol.

An effective PPARγ agonist would have many measurable effects.  The literature is full of natural substances that may, to some degree, be PPARγ agonists, but you might have to consume them by the bucket load to have any effect.

The attraction of Sytrinol is that it does have a measurable effect in realistic doses.  Sytrinol is sold as a product to lower cholesterol.  Tangeretin is a PPARγ agonist and you would expect a PPARγ agonist to improve insulin sensitivity and also reduce cholesterol. There are clinical trials showing this effect of Sytrinol.


Sytrinol (Tangeretin) Experiment

The most measurable effect of using Sytrinol for six weeks is that we no longer need any Ibuprofen.  It is measurable, since I am no longer needing to buy Ibuprofen any more.

About three days a week Monty’s assistant would need to give him Ibuprofen at school.  This all stopped, even though occasional complaints about wobbly teeth continue.

Nobody markets  Sytrinol (Tangeretin) as a painkiller.

Note:- Sytrinol capsules contain a blend of 270mg PMF (polymethoxylated flavones, consisting largely of tangeretin and nobiletin) + 30mg tocotrienols. Nobiletin is closely related to tangeretin, while tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family.  All three should be good for you.


Tangeretin and Ibuprofen are both PPARγ agonists

The explanation for all this may indeed be that Tangeretin and Ibuprofen are both PPARγ agonists.  Inhibiting COX-2 may have been irrelevant.


  
It may be that by regulating the anti-inflammatory genes, via  PPARγ, the Sytrinol has countered the “flare-up” caused by the spike in IL-6.

Anyway, in the earlier post we did see that research shows that dissolving milk teeth is signalled via increased IL-6 and we do know that increased IL-6, caused by allergies, can trigger worsening autism. 

So it does make sense, at least to me.

Regular uses of Sytrinol/Tangeretin looks a much safer bet than any NSAID.

If anyone tries it, particularly those who regularly use NSAIDs, let us all know.



PPARγ and Epilepsy

If you Google PPARγ and autism you will soon end up back at this blog.

For any sceptics, better to Google PPARγ and Epilepsy.  Epilepsy looks to be the natural progression of un-treated classic autism.  If this progression can be prevented, that should be big news.

Prevention is always better than a cure.  All kinds of conditions appear to be preventable, or at least you can minimize their incidence.  

Here are just the ones I have stumbled upon while researching autism:- Asthma  (Ketotifen), type 2 diabetes (Verapamil), prostate cancer (Lycopene) and many types of cancer (Sulforaphane).

There are of course types of epilepsy unconnected to autism, but epilepsy, seizures and electrical activity are highly comorbid with classic autism




Abstract

Approximately 30% of people with epilepsy do not achieve adequate seizure control with current anti-seizure drugs (ASDs). This medically refractory population has severe seizure phenotypes and is at greatest risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Therefore, there is an urgent need for detailed studies identifying new therapeutic targets with potential disease-modifying outcomes. Studies indicate that the refractory epileptic brain is chronically inflamed with persistent mitochondrial dysfunction. Recent evidence supports the hypothesis that both factors can increase the excitability of epileptic networks and exacerbate seizure frequency and severity in a pathological cycle. Thus, effective disease-modifying interventions will most likely interrupt this loop. The nuclear transcription factor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARy) regulates genes in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and mitochondrial pathways. Preliminary experiments in chronically epileptic mice indicate impressive anti-seizure efficacy. We hypothesize that (i) activation of brain PPARy in epileptic animals will have disease modifying effects that provide long-term benefits, and (ii) determining PPARy mechanisms will reveal additional therapeutic targets. Using a mouse model of developmental epilepsy, we propose to (1) elucidate the cellular, synaptic and network mechanisms by which PPARy activation restores normal excitability;(2) demonstrate the significant contribution of mitochondrial health in pathologic synaptic activity in epileptic brain;(3) demonstrate inflammatory regulation of PPARy in epileptic brain;and (4) determine whether PPARy activation extends the lifespan of severely epileptic animals. The proposed studies, spanning in vivo and in vitro systems using a combination of techniques in molecular biology, electrophysiology, microscopy, bioenergetics and pharmacology, will provide insight into the interplay of seizures, mitochondria, inflammation and homeostatic mechanisms. The results will have tremendous, immediate translational potential because PPARy agonists are currently used for clinical treatment of Type II Diabetes. PPARy is under investigation as treatment for a wide variety of other neurological diseases with cell death and inflammation as common denominators;therefore, the results of this proposal will have a broad impact.

Public Health Relevance

Approximately 30% of people with epilepsy do not achieve adequate seizure control with current anti-seizure drugs (ASDs). This medically refractory population has severe seizure phenotypes and is at greatest risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Therefore, there is an urgent need for detailed studies identifying new therapeutic targets with potential disease- modifying outcomes.




Activation of cerebral peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma exerts neuroprotection by inhibiting oxidative stress following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus.

Abstract

Status epilepticus (SE) can cause severe neuronal loss and oxidative damage. As peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonists possess antioxidative activity, we hypothesize that rosiglitazone, a PPARgamma agonist, might protect the central nervous system (CNS) from oxidative damage in epileptic rats. Using a lithium-pilocarpine-induced SE model, we found that rosiglitazone significantly reduced hippocampal neuronal loss 1 week after SE, potently suppressed the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation. We also found that treatment with rosiglitazone enhanced antioxidative activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione hormone (GSH), together with decreased expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the hippocampus. The above effects of rosiglitazone can be blocked by co-treatment with PPARgamma antagonist T0070907. The current data suggest that rosiglitazone exerts a neuroprotective effect on oxidative stress-mediated neuronal damage followed by SE. Our data also support the idea that PPARgamma agonist might be a potential neuroprotective agent for epilepsy.




CONCLUSION:

The present study demonstrates the anticonvulsant effect of acute pioglitazone on PTZ-induced seizures in mice. This effect was reversed by PPAR-γ antagonist, and both a specific- and a non-specific nitric oxide synthase inhibitors, and augmented by nitric oxide precursor, L-arginine. These results support that the anticonvulsant effect of pioglitazone is mediated through PPAR-γ receptor-mediated pathway and also, at least partly, through the nitric oxide pathway.



Note that elsewhere in this blog I have already highlighted that PPAR alpha agonists also seem to have an effect against epilepsy.  For example in this research:-


          

I was originally interested in PPAR-alpha, because of its role in regulating mast cells.  It seems that PPARγ also affects mast cells.


  


PPARγ modulators – drugs vs neutraceuticals vs functional food

It does seem that many people with inflammatory diseases, epilepsy, autism and even people who are obese, might greatly benefit from selective PPARγ agonists.

The choice would be between drugs, “nutraceuticals” and functional (good) food.

The drugs have not yet arrived that are safe and selective.  The current Thiazolidinedione (TZD) class of drugs TZDs tend to increase fat mass as well as improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in both lab animals and humans.




Since its identification in the early 1990s, peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a nuclear hormone receptor, has attracted tremendous scientific and clinical interest. The role of PPARγ in macronutrient metabolism has received particular attention, for three main reasons: first, it is the target of the thiazolidinediones (TZDs), a novel class of insulin sensitisers widely used to treat type 2 diabetes; second, it plays a central role in adipogenesis; and third, it appears to be primarily involved in regulating lipid metabolism with predominantly secondary effects on carbohydrate metabolism, a notion in keeping with the currently in vogue ‘lipocentric’ view of diabetes. This review summarises in vitro studies suggesting that PPARγ is a master regulator of adipogenesis, and then considers in vivo findings from use of PPARγ agonists, knockout studies in mice and analysis of human PPARγ mutations/polymorphisms.



As usual there are numerous “natural substances” that may also modulate PPAR-γ




A direct correlation between adequate nutrition and health is a universally accepted truth. The Western lifestyle, with a high intake of simple sugars, saturated fat, and physical inactivity, promotes pathologic conditions. The main adverse consequences range from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome to several cancers. Dietary components influence tissue homeostasis in multiple ways and many different functional foods have been associated with various health benefits when consumed. Natural products are an important and promising source for drug discovery. Many anti-inflammatory natural products activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR); therefore, compounds that activate or modulate PPAR-gamma (PPAR-γ) may help to fight all of these pathological conditions. Consequently, the discovery and optimization of novel PPAR-γ agonists and modulators that would display reduced side effects is of great interest. In this paper, we present some of the main naturally derived products studied that exert an influence on metabolism through the activation or modulation of PPAR-γ, and we also present PPAR-γ-related diseases that can be complementarily treated with nutraceutics from functional foods.



Conclusion

If you are one of those people successfully using NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen, to reduce autistic behaviors, you might well be in the group that would benefit from Sytrinol/Tangeretin.

If NSAIDs never help resolve your autism flare-ups, Sytrinol/Tangeretin may not help either.

Tangeretin does appear to have other effects, beyond not needing to use Ibuprofen.  It was found to be a potent antagonist at P2Y2 receptors.

Suramin is another potent P2Y2 antagonist and Suramin is showing a lot of promise in Robert Naviaux’s autism studies at the University of California at San Diego.  Suramin is not viewed as safe for regular use in humans.