Aldose reductase (AR), that catalyzes the rate limiting step of the polyol pathway of glucose metabolism, besides reducing glucose to sorbitol, reduces a number of lipid peroxidation-derived aldehydes and their glutathione conjugates.
Studies suggest that apart from its involvement in diabetic complications, AR's catalytic activity plays a key role in a number of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, sepsis, asthma, uveitis, and colon cancer. Furthermore, AR is overexpressed in human cancers such as liver, colon, breast, cervical and ovarian. Since AR inhibitors have already undergone up to phase-iii clinical trials for diabetic complications, they could be safe anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore the future use of AR inhibitors in down-regulating major inflammatory pathologies such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases could relieve some of the major health concerns of worldwide.
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