A recent study by the National Research Council (CNR) opens the way for potential personalized therapeutic strategies in the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system for which there is currently no effective treatment.
The results, published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, were obtained by a team of researchers from the Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation (IRIB) and the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC) of the CNR.
The researchers have identified the CXCR2 receptor as a new, potential therapeutic target for ALS. Starting from previous research based on broad genomic analysis, the researchers revealed the deregulation of the CXCR2 receptor in cortical neurons of a subgroup of sporadic ALS patients.
“By using two preclinical in vitro and in vivo experimental models, we investigated the effect of CXCR2 inhibition by Reparixin. The results showed a significant effect of the drug in preventing neurodegeneration in vitro and improving neuromuscular function in vivo,” explained Sebastiano Cavallaro of CNR-IRIB, who coordinated the study together with Silvia Mandillo of CNR-IBBC.
The data obtained by the researchers therefore show that CXCR2 could play a role in ALS and support the use of this receptor as a therapeutic target. “The results achieved represent a first step towards personalized medicine for complex and multifactorial diseases of the nervous system,” Cavallaro concluded.
Eleonora Aronica, University of Amsterdam, and Fabio Mammano, University of Padua, also contributed to the study.