Mouse Study Reveals Rare Genetic Disorder May Be Improved by Hypertension Drug

Author: Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News
Published On: 09/14/2021

Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is a hereditary condition most commonly associated with bilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS), also known as acoustic neuromas. These are benign tumors that occur on the nerves for balance and hearing leading to the inner ear. Although these tumors are benign, they can cause hearing and balance problems. People with NF2 also have an increased risk of other tumors of the nervous system. Now, a mouse study by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear reveals that the blood pressure drug losartan may benefit patients with NF2.

The findings are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in a paper titled, “Losartan prevents tumor-induced hearing loss and augments radiation efficacy in NF2 schwannoma rodent models.

“Hearing loss is one of the most common symptoms of NF2 caused by VS,” wrote the researchers. “Fibrosis in the VS tumor microenvironment (TME) is associated with hearing loss in patients with NF2. We hypothesized that reducing the fibrosis using losartan, an FDA-approved antihypertensive drug that blocks fibrotic and inflammatory signaling, could improve hearing.”

Read the full release here.

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