High efficiency hirudotherapy provided biologically active substances that were found in the salivary glands of a medical leech. At present, the results obtained at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences IP Baskova, II Artamonova, and LL Zavalova are known. They indicate the presence of more than 100 biologically active components that exert a powerful therapeutic effect on the human body.
Biologically active substances of the leech secret:
Hirudin - a polypeptide consisting of 65 amino acids, is the most potent and specific inhibitor of thrombin. Slows down the process of blood clotting, being a powerful anticoagulant. In 1884, J. Hycraft drew general attention to the fact that the skin lesions after the exposure of the leech bleed for a long time and suggested that the salivary glands of the leeches contained an unknown substance that exerts an anticoagulant effect. In 1903 F.Franc first isolated this substance from the leech extract and called it hirudin. F. McDerdt (1955-70) discovered the mechanism of biochemical action of hirudin, showing that he is an inhibitor of thrombin. He took a worthy place as an effective tool for the prevention and treatment of serious diseases such as thrombophlebitis, varicose veins, pre-infarction and post-infarction states, strokes, in the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndrome and angina.1,2 Hirudin does not translate into new substance, and therefore excreted by the kidneys in an unchanged form.
Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction of hydrolytic cleavage and depolymerization of hyaluronic acid and acid mucopolysaccharides, which are important components of the basic substance of connective tissue, acting as a cementing agent, securing individual tissue elements and cells. Hyaluronidase is a "proliferation factor". With its help, the penetration of various medicinal substances into the patient's body is facilitated, the permeability of tissues, the walls of blood vessels increases. Hyaluronidase is the vector by which other active substances that form part of the secretion of the salivary glands of leeches penetrate the patient's body when biting skin. The dissolving effect of hyaluronidase is of particular importance in the treatment of diseases accompanied by cicatricial and adhesive processes. This enzyme, contained in the venoms of snakes, spiders, extracts of human testicles, in some bacteria, is indispensable in the process of fertilization - one of the factors that ensure the successful treatment of infertility by hirudotherapy.
Histamine-like substances - activate the organ microcirculation. They lead to an increase in the caliber of arterial vessels and, as a consequence, increase regional blood flow.
Brain - inhibitors of trypsin, plasmin and acrosin, have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Eglines - inhibitors of alpha-chymotrypsin and cathepsin G (neutral human granulocyte proteases) have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Destabilase - provides a thrombolytic effect. It cleaves the E-lysine bonds in stabilized fibrin (which is important in the resolution of thrombi) and E-lysine bonds between different proteins (the formation of such bonds was noted in a number of pathological conditions, for example, in lens cataracts). The destabilase complex carries out thrombolytic activity by hydrolysis of bonds formed during the stabilization of fibrin in the presence of factor XIII of blood coagulation.
Aeromonas hydrophila - symbiotic bacteria - unique in protease activity, aggressive against other microbes, powerful immunostimulant.
Collagenase is an enzyme capable of destroying long strands of collagen protein, which usually fills large wounds during their healing. It is from the collagen keloid scars that remain on the skin as a result of severe burns or deep cuts. Collagenase destroys collagen and thereby contributes to the resorption of keloid scars. Widely used in modern cosmetology.26
Orgelase - promotes the formation of new blood vessels, capillaries, increases their permeability, reduces edema. As a result, swelling and thrombi in the walls of the vessels dissolve and restore the normal movement of fluids in the affected organ, and its drainage continues after removal of the leech. This property of enzymes is now used in microsurgery for transplanting skin flaps or transplantation of fingers, nose, and other organs cut off in case of accidents.
Saratin - an inhibitor of platelet aggregation on the damaged surface of the vessel wall. It is used to treat various thromboembolic disorders, including venous thrombosis, peripheral arterial thrombosis, cerebrovascular thrombosis and myocardial infarction.14
Kininase - hydrolase, splits bradykinin - reduces pain.
Prothrombinase (factor Xa inhibitor) is an antithrombotic effect.
Decorfin is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation (blocks the platelet glycoprotein IIb / IIIa).
Kalin is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation and von Willebrand factor.
Apyrase is an enzyme that determines the antisclerotic effect. Apirase increases the activity of the lipoprotein lipase enzyme, which lowers the level of total cholesterol and low-density beta-lipoproteins in the blood, the high level of which promotes the development of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Apiraza increases the body's tolerance to glucose, which is important in the prevention of diabetes. 26
The factor of platelet activation (FAT, English platelet-activating factor, PAF) is a platelet activating factor: a powerful mediator of inflammation - it hinders the activation of platelets, has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is widely used for the prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombosis. 23
Gyrustazine - an inhibitor of tissue kallecrein, trypsin, chymotrypsin and cathepsin G neutrophils, has an anti-inflammatory effect.
The inhibitor of tryptase (LDTI - Leech Derived Tryptase Inhibitor) - tetrameric protein, trypsin-like serine protease is the main component of secretory cytoplasmic granules of mast cells. Tryptase plays an important pathogenetic role in allergic and inflammatory conditions associated with dysfunction of mast cells, such as asthma, certain lung diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, etc. Inactivating tryptase, LDTI helps to reduce allergic and inflammatory reactions.
The carboxypeptidase inhibitor (LCI-Leech Carboxypeptidase Inhibitor) -blocks the hydrolysis of kinins at the site of biting by the leech of the skin - increases local blood flow.
Biologically active substances (prostaglandinovoy nature) - hypotensive effect.
Analogues of endorphins are enzymes that have a positive effect on a person's emotional state.