Navigation Links
Research elucidates way lungs fight bacteria and prevent infection
Date:1/23/2009

NEW YORK (Jan. 23, 2009) Actor and pancreatic cancer patient Patrick Swayze's recent hospitalization with pneumonia as a result of his compromised immune system underscores the sensitivity of the lungs: many patients die from lung complications of a disease, rather than the disease itself.

Lungs are delicate and exposed to the environment, almost like an open wound. Consequently, the body has developed an elaborate immuno-defense system to combat inhaled pathogens and bacteria in a healthy individual, this system effectively blocks hundreds of potentially sickening assaults daily.

It works like this: airway epithelial cells initiate an immune response to inhaled bacteria by signaling for white blood cells to move from the bloodstream into the lungs and airway to fight potential infection.

For the first time, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have demonstrated that this signaling cascade includes the activation of epithelial proteases, a type of enzyme capable of opening the junctions between the cells in the airway mucosa, to enable the white blood cells to get through to the site of the infection. The opening of these junctions is initiated by a change in calcium levels.

The work by Drs. Jarin Chun and Alice Prince in the Departments of Pharmacology and Pediatrics at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons was published Jan. 22, 2009 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

Getting white blood cells to the site of an infection, however, is often a double-edged sword. On the one hand, having as many white blood cells as possible at the site of an infection is beneficial, but on the other hand too many white blood cells can lead to excessive inflammation, interfering with breathing and damaging the airways.

Cystic fibrosis is one disease where this work might have particular import, Dr. Chun says. People with cystic fibrosis possess an abnormal gene that causes normal mucus to become thick and sticky, leaving the lung more prone to infection and inflammation, while still killing infection-causing bacteria.

The findings, in mice, demonstrate a way to inhibit proteases and restrict the junctions between cells in the airway mucosa, meaning that fewer white blood cells can get into the airway causing less inflammation.

Thus, epithelial proteases could be an important target to control inflammation in the lung, and could serve as the basis for the development of novel drugs to help the human body get the optimal number of white blood cells to an infection site without letting inflammation spiral out of control.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alex Lyda
mal2133@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 2009 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards granted for pioneering ideas in cancer research
2. Researchers genetically link Lou Gehrigs disease in humans to dog disease
3. Texas Medical Center researchers win collaborative grants
4. Research exposes the risk to infants from the chemicals used in liquid medicines
5. UD research study to shed light on emerging seaborne pathogen
6. Researchers describe protease inhibitor that may aid in diabetic retinopathy treatment
7. Researchers examine developing hearts in chickens to find solutions for human heart abnormalities
8. CIC to Host Webinar Featuring Independent Research Firm: Enabling Straight Through Processing - Why the Insurance Industry Needs Electronic Signature Technology
9. Leading research agencies announce new international competition: "The digging into data challenge"
10. JDRF-funded researchers discover proteins regulating human beta cell replication
11. New infant feeding and obesity research adds insight to ongoing issue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar 24, 2017 Research ... Vehicle Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to ... ... poised to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , March 9, 2017 4Dx has publicly ... Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania. Founder ... to deliver the latest data to world leaders in ... brings together leaders at the forefront of the industry ... imaging. "The quality of the imaging ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... YORK , March 27, 2017 ... developing novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer,s ... that its application to list the Company,s common ... approved by The NASDAQ Stock Market, a unit ... the listing, Neurotrope will ring the Opening Bell at ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017  Infectex Ltd., a ... today announced positive results of a Phase 2b-3 clinical ... regimen in patients with multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis (MDR-TB). SQ109 ... at Sequella, Inc. ( USA ) and ... A total of 140 patients were enrolled in a ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SVA), a leading provider ... that its board of directors has amended its shareholder rights plan. The ... 2017 to March 27, 2018. The amendment was not in response to ... ... Ltd. is a China -based biopharmaceutical company that ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... VILLAGE, Calif. , March 24, 2017   ... dermatology and aesthetics company, today announced that Richard ... Officer, effective March 24.   Peterson, who brings ... succeed John Smither , who is retiring at ... Sienna in an advisory capacity. Peterson joins Sienna from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: