The present review focuses on the background and progress that led to discovery of specific inhibition of post-Amadori formation of advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. The "classic" or Hodge pathway begins with glucose condensation with amino groups to form a Schiff base aldimine adduct that undergoes rearrangement to a ketoamine Amadori product. This pathway is considered an important route to AGE formation that has been implicated in glucose-mediated damage in vivo (3-5). We recently described a facile procedure for isolation of proteins rich in Amadori adducts but free of AGEs, thus permitting study of pathways of conversion of Amadori compounds to AGEs. This in turn led to a unique and rapid post-Amadori screening assay for putative "Amadorins," which we define here as inhibitors of the conversion of Amadori intermediates to AGEs in the absence of excess free or reversibly bound (Schiff base) sugar. Our screening assay then led to the identification of pyridoxamine (Pyridorin) as the first member of this class of Amadorin compounds. Rather unexpectedly, the assay also led to the clear demonstration that the well-known AGE inhibitor aminoguanidine, currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for treatment of diabetic nephropathy, has negligible Amadorin activity. In view of the importance of Amadori compounds as intermediates in AGE formation in vivo, the therapeutic potential of Pyridorin is currently being investigated and is now showing highly promising results in different animal models.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.