Researchers in the UK have found that margatoxin, a natural product found in scorpion venom and known to block potassium channels in blood vessels can prevent neoinitimal hyperplasia – the formation of scar tissue in blood vessels following coronary artery bypass graft surgery – which often causes the grafts to fail.
The research is in the very early stages and margatoxin itself could not be used as a post-operative drug because of its toxicity. However, a derivative or related compound might be developed for further investigation, and may one day lead to a drug for preventing scarring after bypass surgery.
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- Potent suppression of vascular smooth muscle cell migration and human neointimal hyperplasia by KV1.3 channel blockers
A. Cheong, J. Li, P. Sukumar, B. Kumar, F. Zeng, K. Riches, C. Munsch, I. C. Wood, K. E. Porter, D. J. Beech,
Cardiovasc. Res. 2010.