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Propranolol, a drug that is efficacious against infantile haemangiomas, can also be used to treat cerebral cavernous malformations, a condition characterized by misshapen blood vessels in the brain and elsewhere. This study was published in the scientific journal Stroke.

An inducible endothelial-specific Ccm3 knockout murine model (CCM3iECKO) was used, with an assessment of lesion quantity and size following oral treatment with propranolol. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy were used to characterize the CCM3iECKO lesions and the effects of propranolol on the disease. Immunofluorescent imaging was used to investigate pericyte coverage in the propranolol-treated CCM3iECKO mice.

--With propranolol treatment, the lesion quantity, size, and volume decreased in both the brain and retina in the CCM3iECKO model.

--Novel characteristics of the CCM3iECKO lesions were discovered using electron microscopy, including plasmalemmal pits and thickening of the endothelial-pericyte basal membrane. These characteristics were absent with propranolol treatment.

--Pericyte coverage of the CCM3iECKO lesions increased after propranolol treatment, and vascular leakage was reduced.

This study supports the concept that propranolol can be used to reduce and stabilize vascular lesions and can, therefore, be suggested as a pharmaceutical treatment for CCM.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.029676
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