Navigation Links
Human Airways' 'Brush' Mechanism Gives Clues to Lung Diseases
Date:8/23/2012

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A new study that helps explain how human airways rid the lungs of mucus could give insights into asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers say.

Human airways rely on mucus to expel foreign matter -- including toxic and infectious particles -- from the body, the study authors said in a news release from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"The air we breathe isn't exactly clean, and we take in many dangerous elements with every breath," study co-author Michael Rubinstein noted in the news release. "We need a mechanism to remove all the junk we breathe in, and the way it's done is with a very sticky gel called mucus that catches these particles and removes them with the help of tiny [hair-like] cilia," he explained.

"The cilia are constantly beating, even while we sleep," Rubinstein said. "In a coordinated fashion, they push mucus containing foreign objects out of the lungs, and we either swallow it or spit it out. These cilia even beat for a few hours after we die. If they stopped, we'd be flooded with mucus that provides a fertile breeding ground for bacteria."

It's long been believed that mucus clearance occurs through a "gel-on-liquid" method, in which a watery layer acts as a lubricant and separates mucus from cells that line the airways. However, this does not explain how mucus remains in its own distinct layer.

In this study, published in the Aug. 24 issue of the journal Science, Rubinstein and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggest a "gel-on-brush" form of mucus clearance, in which mucus moves atop a brush-like layer rather than a watery layer.

"This layer -- this brush -- seems to be very important for the healthy functioning of human airways," Rubinstein said. "It protects cells from sticky mucus, and it creates a second barrier of defense in case viruses or bacteria penetrate through the mucus. They would not penetrate through the brush layer because the brush is denser," he added.

"We found that there is a specific condition, below which the brush is healthy and cells are happy," Rubinstein said. "But above this ideal condition, in diseases like [cystic fibrosis] or COPD, the brush becomes compressed and actually prevents the normal cilia beating and healthy flow of mucus."

If the mucus layer becomes too dense, it can crash through the brush layer, collapse the cilia and stick to the cells lining the airways, the authors noted in the news release.

"The collapse of this brush is what can lead to immobile mucus and result in infection, inflammation and eventually the destruction of lung tissue and the loss of lung function," Rubinstein explained. Insights like those might someday help researchers develop new treatments for lung diseases, he added, and also provide a way to assess the effectiveness of those treatments.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Association for the Advancement of Science, news release, Aug. 23, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. More clues about why chimps and humans are genetically different
2. New insights into why humans are more susceptible to cancer and other diseases
3. First evidence from humans on how alcohol may boost risk of cancer
4. In your future: More healthful foods to nourish the non-human you
5. A material to rejuvenate aging and diseased human vocal cords
6. Human embryos frozen for 18 years yield viable stem cells suitable for biomedical research
7. Humanities mini-courses for doctors sharpen thinking and creativity
8. Should young men be vaccinated against human papilloma virus?
9. ONR system selected to help DoD track human subjects studies
10. Human Culture May Date Back 44,000 Years
11. Researchers fish-eye view could offer insights for human vision
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Human Airways' 'Brush' Mechanism Gives Clues to Lung Diseases
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s often important ... problem. Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , She developed ... darkness or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn on a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... 7® Hemp CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD ... dose required and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes ... of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple ... Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate ... people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit ... from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented ... the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is ... events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will ... and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at ... at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). ... financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will ... operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , ... File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European ... platform to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: