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Asthma attack prevention proposal awarded NIH New Innovator grant
Date:9/30/2013

r tested," he said.

Since the first experiments using an extract of a bacterium that causes ear and sinus infections in children, Evans and colleagues have developed a synthetic version that's more amenable to use as a drug. A first-in-humans phase I trial is expected to begin soon, and subsequent clinical trials in patients with leukemia and in patients with asthma have already received funding through other grants.

Inducible resistance

Allergic inflammation has long been identified as a culprit in acute asthma attacks and long-term damage to airways. Inflammation is a primary target of asthma treatment, but anti-inflammatory medicines don't appreciably slow disease progression, Evans said.

Viruses invade the lining of the lungs the epithelial tissue and launch an inflammatory immune response that, left to its own devices in susceptible people, makes the lungs vulnerable to future attacks and promotes asthma progression.

The aerosol developed by Evans and colleagues simulates an infection that stimulates an innate immune system response the fast action component of the immune system that swiftly deploys proteins and reactive oxidative species to destroy invading pathogens.

Ramping up the innate immune system before a viral infection is well-established starts wiping out the infection within hours, their research has found. They call this "good" inflammatory response inducible resistance.

An adaptive immune response, triggered by the innate immune activation, launches a more targeted pathogen-specific response that "remembers" the invader forever but can take days to fully respond.

Crucial components identified, synthesized

From earlier experiments, Evans pinpointed the crucial components of the response to the bacterial aerosol that actually launched the innate immune inflammatory response. He combined two synthetic ligands that bind to two toll-like receptor proteins, ig
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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