Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Easter Island and Sirolimus

Right now it is Easter Island meets modern medicine. Sirolimus is a macrolide compound, an "has immunosuppressant functions in humans and is especially useful in preventing the rejection of kidney transplants. It inhibits activation of T cells and B cells by reducing the production of interleukin-2 (IL-2)" [1]. There had been an article in German with the title "Easter Island medicine allows mice to get older [2].
You might ask now, what this has to do with Easter Island. Remember that Easter Island's original name is Rapanui. Now, Sirolimus has a second name and this is Rapamycin. The bacterium that produces Rapamycin has been found on Rapanui in 1972. Its' use to prevent the rejection of kidney transplants comes from a lower kidney toxicity when compared to calcineurin inhibitors (this toxicity and the induction of hypertension are two of the reasons why Cyclosporin A isn't much used in Rheumatology nowadays).

Where's the link to my recent trip to Rapanui? I had been hiking from Hanga Roa to Rano Kao and taking the left side walk at the rim of the crater, when I suddenly saw something afar. Actually I've been asking myself in disbelief if someone had put up a honey bucket. Soon this assumption showed to be inaccurate as it is a huge slab of stone mounted on rocks, but it had been unclear for what reason because the brass plate isn't there anymore.

The outdoor toilet impression came from 
very much farther away

If you want to see the brass plate, please open this link [3].

Links and References:
[2] Osterinsel-Medizin lässt Mäuse älter werden, SPIEGEL-Online, 9. Juli 2009


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