Dexamethasone - a steroid used significantly to reduce COVID-19 mortality, may be less effective in patients with diabetes, according to a research at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory.
A blood protein, called serum albumin binds with dexamethasone and is responsible for transporting them throughout the body. Patients with diabetes may have low levels of serum albumin due to high blood sugar.
This changes the way albumin binds with dexamethasone and hence, reduces the drug efficacy, shows a study published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography.
"Gaining new insight into the mechanisms of this drug will help doctors design more effective treatments," said Argonne's Bob Fischetti, life sciences advisor to the APS director. "Since the start of this pandemic, the APS has been a powerful tool for gaining insights into the virus itself, and into methods for combating it."