MDI Biological Lab, UMaine research focus of BDN health blog entry

A new study conducted by researchers at MDI Biological Laboratory and the University of Maine was featured in the Bangor Daily News “Catching Health” blog. The research, led by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, has demonstrated that the same enzyme connected to certain chemotherapy drugs also plays a role in peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes. Chemotherapy is the second leading cause of peripheral neuropathy; diabetes is the first, according to the article. In previous research, Rieger identified two compounds that prevent and reverse peripheral neuropathy caused by exposure to Taxol, or paclitaxel, a common cancer chemotherapy agent. The study, which was published in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, showed that the drug candidate was not only effective in zebrafish, but also in mice, the article states. The mice research was conducted in collaboration with Kristy Townsend, an assistant professor of neurobiology at UMaine.