Chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil increases survival of SOD1 mouse model of ALS

Amaya Rando, Miriam De La Torre, Anna Martinez-Muriana, Pilar Zaragoza, Antonio Musaro, Sara Hernández, Xavier Navarro, Janne M. Toivonen, Rosario Osta

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2019 Rando et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal motor neuron disease with no cure. Currently there are only two ALS drugs approved by the FDA, both with a limited therapeutic effect. In the search for drug candidates for ALS, we studied the effect of known stem cell mobilizing agents (treatment) and antimetabolite 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (anti-treatment) in SOD1G93A model of ALS. Surprisingly, we found that anti-cancer drug 5-FU increases lifespan, delays the disease onset and improves motor performance in ALS mice. Although we were not able to demonstrate the mechanistic basis of the beneficial 5-FU action in ALS mice, our findings suggest that 5-FU or similar drugs are possible drug candidates for the treatment of motor neuron diseases through drug repurposing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0210752
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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