Author(s): Kao KK, Fink MP
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Abstract Pyruvate is an important metabolic intermediate, and also is an effective scavenger of hydrogen peroxide and other reactive oxygen species (ROS). Pharmacological administration of pyruvate has been shown to improve organ function in animal models of oxidant-mediated cellular injury. However, pyruvate is relatively unstable in aqueous solutions, which could limit the therapeutic potential of this compound. Ethyl pyruvate (EP), a simple derivative of pyruvic acid, is also an ROS scavenger, but seems to exert pharmacological effects, such as suppression of inflammation, which are at least quantitatively different and in some instances are qualitatively distinct from those exerted by pyruvate anion. Treatment with EP has been shown to improve survival and/or ameliorate organ dysfunction in a wide variety of pre-clinical models of acute illnesses, such as severe sepsis, acute pancreatitis and stroke. Using other animal models, some studies have demonstrated that more prolonged treatment with EP can ameliorate inflammatory bowel disease or slow the rate of growth of malignant tumors. In a clinical trial of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, treatment with EP was shown to be safe, but it failed to improve outcome. The true therapeutic potential of EP and related compounds remains to be elucidated. In this review, some of the biochemical mechanisms, which might be responsible for the pharmacological effects of EP, are discussed. Published by Elsevier Inc.
This article was published in Biochem Pharmacol
and referenced in Pancreatic Disorders & Therapy