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Protein could offer target to reduce lung damage from smoking-caused emphysema
Date:5/16/2011

Members of the research team, led by first author Matthias Clauss, Ph.D., IU associate research professor of cellular and integrative physiology, created an antibody designed to specifically target EMAPII and block its activity. The mice received an inhaled version of the antibody during their third month of smoking. They then were exposed to a fourth month of smoking without the treatment.

The mice receiving the treatment had significantly less cell death and inflammation and improved lung function compared to the smoking mice who did not receive the treatment. Moreover the benefits to the treated mice continued even after the treatment stopped.

Next steps include optimizing the duration of the antibody treatments to determine whether they continue to have an effect after the animals have stopped smoking, she said. Plans also call for work to measure levels of the cytokine in large numbers of human emphysema and COPD patients to determine whether it can be used as a biomarker to measure the presence, severity or type of lung disease.

Considerable research work remains before an EMAPII antibody might be ready for testing in humans, Dr. Petrache said.


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Contact: Eric Schoch
eschoch@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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