New and more effective drugs to treat psoriasis and anaemia using zebrafish as a model

The Research Group on Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer of the University of Murcia and the Murcian Institute for Biosanitary Research (IMIB) presented the results of their work at the Third International Conference on Fish and Molluscs Immunology, with two formulas that will soon be patented by the industry and which, in addition to reducing side effects, as demonstrated by pre-clinical studies, will have lower costs for those affected
 
The Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer Research Group of the University of Murcia and the Murcian Institute for Biosanitary Research (IMIB) have identified more effective formulas for treating psoriasis and anaemia, the result of a biomedical research project that has been developed over the last five years and in which they have taken the zebrafish as a model due to its high genetic similarity with that of humans (up to 87%).
 
These drugs have already been patented and are in the process of being licensed to pharmaceutical companies to carry out clinical trials. The improvements they bring to the formulas available on the market, as proven in preclinical studies using zebrafish, is that in addition to improving the efficacy of those already dispensed, they minimize the side effects of patients affected by these pathologies. In addition, their production cost will be much lower for the pharmaceutical industry because they are drugs of simple composition and easy to produce, so it is expected that their retail prices will be more affordable if they are not covered by social security.
 
Precisely to present the results of this study, today he took part in the Third International Conference on Fish and Molluscs Immunology, which closes today in the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Victoriano Mulero, professor at the University of Murcia in the Cell Biology Area of the Department of Cell Biology and Histology of the Faculty of Biology.
 
During this meeting, organized by the Aquaculture Research Group (GIA) of the University Institute of Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems (IU-ECOAQUA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), in collaboration with the International Society for Fish and Mollusc Immunology, he explained that the zebrafish has become the second animal model most used by laboratories after the mouse to develop their research.
 
"In our research group we use it mainly for the study of chronic inflammatory diseases, especially of the skin (such as psoriasis), infectious diseases caused by intracellular bacteria, diseases with blood alterations (such as anaemia and neutrophilia) and skin cancer (melanoma). The zebrafish allows us to model these diseases because we can easily genetically manipulate it using CRISPR and visualize the processes of inflammation and immunity in real time using lines with fluorescent immune system cells," he added.
 
Mulero has published more than 100 papers during his career, and participated in 17 competitive projects and directed 20 doctoral theses. He is a specialist in the use of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model to deepen the knowledge of the impact of inflammation on angiogenesis, hematopoiesis and cancer.
 
The IMIB researcher pointed out during his talk, under the title "The zebrafish: a research model to understand the evolution of vertebrate immunity", that the results obtained in various research can be extrapolated to the field of biomedicine to understand human diseases and also to the field of aquaculture for the development of vaccines, although there are evolutionary and habitat differences between species that must be taken into account when making these studies.
 
Mulero added that in the field of aquaculture in the Research Group Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer of the University of Murcia is working on improving vaccines, especially oral that can be administered with the diet to prevent manipulation of the specimens. For them it is essential to know the mechanisms of immunity associated with the mucous membranes (gills and intestine) of fish and their microbiota (communities of associated bacteria).
 
During the Third International Conference on Fish and Mollusc Immunology which ends today, 139 oral communications and 87 posters have been presented, exhibitions which have provided a key network and an educational interface for the different agents involved in the industry, the scientific community, health providers and independent research organisations to work together.
 
"In our research group we use it mainly for the study of chronic inflammatory diseases, especially of the skin (such as psoriasis), infectious diseases caused by intracellular bacteria, blood-borne diseases (such as anaemia and neutrophilia) and skin cancer (melanoma). The zebrafish allows us to model these diseases because we can easily genetically manipulate it using CRISPR and visualize the processes of inflammation and immunity in real time using lines with fluorescent immune system cells," he added.
 
Mulero has published more than 100 papers during his career, and participated in 17 competitive projects and directed 20 doctoral theses. He is a specialist in the use of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model to deepen the knowledge of the impact of inflammation on angiogenesis, hematopoiesis and cancer.
 
The IMIB researcher pointed out during his talk, under the title "The zebrafish: a research model to understand the evolution of vertebrate immunity", that the results obtained in various research can be extrapolated to the field of biomedicine to understand human diseases and also to the field of aquaculture for the development of vaccines, although there are evolutionary and habitat differences between species that must be taken into account when making these studies.
 
Mulero added that in the field of aquaculture in the Research Group Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer of the University of Murcia is working on improving vaccines, especially oral that can be administered with the diet to prevent manipulation of the specimens. For them it is essential to know the mechanisms of immunity associated with the mucous membranes (gills and intestine) of fish and their microbiota (communities of associated bacteria).
 
During the Third International Conference on Fish and Mollusc Immunology which ends today, 139 oral communications and 87 posters have been presented, exhibitions which have provided a key network and an educational interface for the different agents involved in the industry, the scientific community, health providers and independent research organisations to work together.
 
The main sponsor of this congress is the Seppic laboratory of the Air Liquide Group, and the Chilean laboratory Pathovet, the company VWR and the Canarian companies ADDIAGNOST, BIOTEIN, BIOSIGMA have also collaborated. The Elsevier and The Fisht Site dissemination platforms, the Bioasis Gran Canaria initiative, managed by the Sociedad de Promoción Económica de Gran Canaria (SPEGC) of the Cabildo Insular, and the Gran Canaria Convention Bureau have also participated as partners in the congress.
 
NOTE FOR THE MASS MEDIA:
 
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that appears due to an alteration of the immune system. It manifests itself in the skin and joints and usually evolves into outbreaks, alternating periods with more or less lesions and periods without lesions. It can occur in any part of the body. Skin cells in the affected areas, called keratinocytes, reproduce much faster than those of a person without psoriasis, and accumulate forming red, thickened and scaly plaques on the skin. It is not a contagious disease, although it does have a certain genetic component that is inherited from parents to children. There is still no definitive cure. Psoriasis can appear at any age, it usually occurs more frequently at two times in life, between 20 and 30 years old and between 50 and 60 years old. People with psoriasis may be at increased risk for other diseases such as diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease and depression, among others.
 
Anaemia is a condition characterized by a lack of enough healthy red blood cells to carry an adequate level of oxygen to the tissues of the body. Tiredness and fatigue are among the main symptoms. There are many forms of anaemia, each with different causes. Anemia can be temporary or prolonged, and can range from mild to severe. Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to performing medical procedures.