AI Identifies Antimalarial Drug As Possible Osteoporosis Treatment

Osteoporotic mice treated with dihydroartemisinin (DHA) had significantly improved bone density (bottom) compared to controls (top). (Credit: Adapted from ACS Central Science, 2023, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.3c00794).
Artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded in popularity and is being harnessed by some scientists to predict which molecules could treat illnesses, or to quickly screen existing medicines for new applications. Researchers reporting in ACS Central Science (published by the American Chemical Society) have used one such deep learning algorithm, and found that dihydroartemisinin (DHA), an antimalarial drug and derivative of a traditional Chinese medicine, could treat osteoporosis as well. The team showed that in mice, DHA effectively reversed osteoporosis-related bone loss. The open-access article was published on October 18, 2023 and is titled “Deep Learning-Predicted Dihydroartemisinin Rescues Osteoporosis by Maintaining Mesenchymal Stem Cell Stemness Through Activating Histone 3 Lys 9 Acetylation.”
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