Navigation Links
Scientists discover molecule that does double duty in stopping asthma attacks

BOSTON, MAScientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital are on the brink of the next treatment advancement that may spell relief for the nearly nineteen million adults and seven million children in the United States suffering from asthma. The scientists discovered two new drug targets in the inflammatory response pathway responsible for asthma attacks.

The study will be published on February 27, 2013 in Science Translational Medicine.

Researchers studied the lungs and blood of 22 people with mild and severe asthma. They saw that immune cells called natural killer cells and type 2 innate lymphoid cells played significant roles in airway inflammation in study participants with severe asthma.

Natural killer cells decreased airway inflammation by encouraging programmed cell death in immune cells called eosinophils, whereas type 2 innate lymphoid cells promoted airway inflammation by secreting cell-signaling molecules called interleukin-13.

Both mechanisms were controlled by a molecule called lipoxin A4 which is responsible for resolving inflammation. To achieve this, lipoxin A4 acted in both pro-resolving and anti-inflammatory ways. The researchers saw that lipoxin A4 encouraged natural killer cells to decrease inflammation by facilitating eosinophil cell death. Lipoxin A4 also discouraged type 2 innate lymphoid cells from promoting inflammation by blocking interleukin-13 secretion.

"Stopping airway inflammation is similar to putting out a forest fire," said Bruce Levy, MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division, BWH Department of Internal Medicine, senior study author. "Firefighters tackle forest fires in two waysdousing the fire with water and clearing away dry brush that could fuel the fire. Lipoxin A4 does just that to resolve inflammation. It is an airway inflammation fighter that performs the double duty of dampening pathways that ignite inflammation while at the same time clearing away cells that fuel inflammation."

In previous studies, Levy and his team discovered that lipoxin A4 production was defective in patients with severe asthma. Together with their new findings, this observation provides researchers and drug manufacturers with a new direction toward boosting lipoxin A4 in severe asthmatics when designing next-generation asthma therapies.

"Most patients with severe asthma have chronic airway inflammation that never fully resolves. This can lead to daily and often disabling symptoms despite available therapies. Our study provides new information on cellular targets that regulate inflammation and will enable the development of lipoxin-based therapeutics to decrease chronic inflammation in asthma and other diseases." said Levy.


Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Related biology technology :

1. Scientists Warn of Long Term Consequences of Budget Sequestration: BioInformatics LLC Report
2. UC Santa Barbara scientists develop a whole new way of harvesting energy from the sun
3. The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS, and OWSD Honor Early Career Women Scientists in Developing Countries at the Annual AAAS Meeting
4. BioInformatics LLC New Market Report – Best Practices Guide for Advertising to Life Scientists
5. Science of Hiring: Demand for Scientists Grows 15%
6. Scientists Describe Breakthrough Technology for Brain Self-Optimization in Newly Published Paper
7. Salk scientists use Amazon Cloud to view molecular machinery in remarkable detail
8. ASU scientists unravel the mysteries of spider silk
9. Citizen Scientists Successfully Fund Groundbreaking Startup to Sequence their Microbiomes
10. Scientists design, control movements of molecular motor
11. Flexing fingers for micro-robotics: Berkeley Lab scientists create a powerful, microscale actuator
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , England , November 26, 2015 ... Lightpoint Medical, an innovative medical device company specializing in imaging ... grant from the European Commission as part of the Horizon ... the company to carry out a large-scale clinical trial in ... -->      (Logo: , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 2 ... première fois les différences entre les souches bactériennes ... celles des êtres humains . Ces recherches ... et envisager la prise en charge efficace de ... diagnostiqués chez les chats .    --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ... and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at ... New York . .   ... approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation to download ... presentation will be available on the website approximately one ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. ... participate in a fireside chat discussion at the Piper ... York . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, ... .  A replay will be available for ... Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/10/2015)... 10, 2015 About signature ... helps to identify and verify the identity of ... as the secure and accurate method of authentication ... particular individual because each individual,s signature is highly ... when dynamic signature of an individual is compared ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... New York , November 4, 2015 ... to a new market report published by Transparency Market ... Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global ... of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is ... the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) ... Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for the ... and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers has ... --> --> Synthetic biology ... potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):