Degradation kinetics of enkephalins by human tissues and fluids
Distribution of enkephalins in human brain indicates that they may play a complex role in the regulation of various physiological and behavioral functions; however factors governing their degradation kinetics in health and disease are essentially unknown. We are conducting metabolic studies of these pentapeptides in samples from select post-mortem human brain areas, as they may provide critical insight for understanding the pathophysiology of some chronic diseases, many of them mostly specific to humans, and for which we are lacking reliable animal models. Identifying substances able to significantly alter enkephalins metabolism may contribute to the rational design of pharmacological strategies based in the modulation of their bioavailability.
Triptan drugs, immune function and migraine headaches
The pharmacological profile of a large number of triptan compounds has been extensively studied; however, relatively little is known of their effects on the immune response. We have recently shown that the interaction of various triptans with cellular components of the innate immune system results in an apparent indirect inhibition of natural killer cell activity and direct inhibition of neutrophils pro-matrix metalloproteinase-9 secretion. Understanding the molecular mechanism of these interactions will shed light as to whether triptan’s positive role in decreasing the severity of inflammatory processes is part of their antimigraine mechanism of action, or just an added beneficial effect of their use for the reversal treatment of migraine headaches.