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:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/7/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, ... in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel ... three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped ... the structural biology community. The winners worked with ... now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... Cure) will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive ... INSIGhT Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... ... Understanding the microbiome, the millions of bacteria that live in our guts, is ... the newest exhibit on display at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery ... of the gut microbiome. , Gut Love opens October 12, 2017, and runs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: