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'Beneficial inflammation' may promote healing in pulmonary fibrosis
Date:4/25/2014

l before the natural healing process would have begun. The researchers also found that knockout mice lacking the gene for TNF-α failed to heal as wild type mice eventually do.

The researchers believe that TNF-α acts by inducing white blood cells known as macrophages to change from ones that promote fibrosis to ones that promote inflammation instead. TNF-α may also promote the death of some of the pro-fibrotic macrophages.

"Physicians would welcome any therapy that could just slow down or stop the scarring process in the lungs," said David Riches, PhD, professor and head of the program in cell biology at National Jewish Health, and senior author on the study. "Our findings suggest that TNF-α not only slows the fibrotic process, but actually reverses established scarring in the lungs."

The researchers are now investigating the role of TNF-α in various process that actually remove scar tissue including the removal of collagen-producing cells, the degradation and removal of collagen and restoration of healthy lung cells.


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Contact: William Allstetter
allstetterw@njhealth.org
303-398-1002
National Jewish Health
Source:Eurekalert

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