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Findings on pollution damage to human airways could yield new therapies
Date:1/17/2011

ects of air pollution without grave airway damage.

The injurious molecule MMP-1 is known to enhance the development of certain devastating lung diseases, such as chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a top-ten ailment in world-wide morbidity and mortality, according to the World Health Organization. The devastating, tissue-destructive actions of MMP-1 can also lead to lung emphysema, which is chronic reduction of the lung surface dedicated to gaseous exchange, and to the spread of lung cancer cells, through migration of these cells from lung tissue that has become cancerous.

The new study also provides a direction for developing therapeutics for those who are genetically more susceptible to air pollution and airway damage, Liedtke said. "If we can find a way to stop the hyperactivation of MMP-1 in response to diesel-engine exhaust particles and reduce it to levels that the airways can manage, then we will be helping a large number of people worldwide," he said. "It is attractive to envision inhaled TRPV4 inhibitor drugs, rather than swallowing a pill or taking an injection. I envision this as rather similar to inhaled drugs for allergic airway disease that are currently available."


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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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