Iloprost and Cytoprotection
At the end of a meeting one tries to summarize the highlights, to filtrate the relevant new messages and to accept criticisms in order to form a new personal opinion on the matter discussed. Regarding this symposium, scheduled to summarize the current knowledge on Iloprost and its putative mechanisms of action in laboratory studies, it became evident that a huge amount of information has been accumulated within the last 2 years. Probably the most important biological activity of the compound demonstrated during the symposium using a number of different systems, including the heart, liver cells and also tissue-transplants, is its “cytoprotective” activity, i.e., its unique property to increase tissue resistance to noxious stimuli. However, it also became evident that a satisfactory explanation of how this “cytoprotection” is mediated is still lacking. The clarification of the molecular basis of “cytoprotection” therefore not only represents a most challenging approach for experimental pharmacology but also for the future design of prostacyclin-mimetics.