Navigation Links
U-M researchers discover therapeutic target that could help patients with pulmonary fibrosis
Date:8/23/2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. A diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is not much better than a death sentence: there is no treatment and the survival rate is less than three years.

But researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that targeting of a novel gene utilizing genetic and pharmacologic strategies was successful in treating pulmonary fibrosis in mice and will be developed for future testing in humans.

The treatments attack an oxidant-generating enzyme, NOX4, that researchers discovered is involved in the fibrotic process which involves scar-like tissue formation in an organ such as the lung. The researchers' findings will be published in the September issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

"We've identified the target. We know the enemy now," said Subramaniam Pennathur, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine/nephrology. "This is the first study that shows pulmonary fibrosis is driven by this NOX4 enzyme.

"But what's really significant is this discovery may have relevance to fibrosis in other organ systems, not just the lung."

So those suffering from common cardiac or kidney diseases, which often involve fibrosis, also may benefit from treatments stemming from this research, Pennathur said.

Pennathur said continued support from the National Institutes of Health will eventually allow researchers to take the treatment to human studies. The University of Michigan also has filed for patent protection and is currently looking for a licensing partner to help bring the technology to market.

The discovery was made in the University of Michigan lab of Victor J. Thannickal, M.D. He was assisted by Louise Hecker, Ph.D., a post-doctoral research fellow.

Thannickal said the study points to a very viable treatment strategy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and researchers saw success both in mouse models of lung fibrosis and in fibrogenic cells isolated from lungs of patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

"It remains to be seen if fibrosis is reversible," he said. "But therapeutic targeting of this pathway this may allow us to halt the progression of fibrosis and preserve lung function."

The lung disease often affects older people, Thannickal said, and its cause is generally unknown. It is possible that cumulative injuries like exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants in genetically susceptible individuals could contribute to causing fibrosis.

There is a gradual scarring of the lung, thickening and contracting the organ until it loses its ability to exchange oxygen with blood, Hecker said. Patients experience extreme fatigue, rapid weight loss, chronic cough and shortness of breath.

There are five million people worldwide that are affected by this disease, according to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. In the United States there are over 100,000 patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

When U-M researchers induced the fibrotic process in the mice, they discovered that the NOX4 enzyme was elevated. By knocking down that enzyme at the genetic level or inhibiting its activity, the fibrosis was stopped, Hecker said.

"So we may be able to halt lung scarring even after the injury has occurred and fibrosis is set in motion," she said. "This research provides proof of concept that we can target this pathway for therapeutic benefit, which could potentially be used in humans."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. UCSF Researchers Identify Two Key Pathways in Adaptive Response
2. Alcohol advertising reaching too many teens on cable TV, researchers say
3. NIH researchers identify key factor that stimulates brain cancer cells to spread
4. Pitt researchers harness carbon nanomaterials for drug delivery systems, oxygen sensors
5. Microsoft Rogue Internet Pharmacy Problem Fixed? Not So Fast, Say Researchers
6. Researchers identify potential new avenue to attack cancer
7. Researchers find alcoholics display abnormal brain activity when processing facial expressions
8. UT Southwestern researchers launch study into search-and-destroy antigen for deadly skin cancer
9. Researchers Produce First Nationwide Study of Homeless in ERs
10. Yerkes researchers propose ambitious new strategies for AIDS vaccine research
11. Researchers Identify New Method to Selectively Kill Metastatic Melanoma Cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
U-M researchers discover therapeutic target that could help patients with pulmonary fibrosis
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh has posted a ... Yisrayl says this generation is a time like no other and society needs to understand ... Yisrayl says he does not want to sound like an old bible beater because religion ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... Bionic Sports Nutrition LLC, an American company devoted to developing high-quality nutritional supplements for ... Show in Hilton Head, SC. , Bionic Sports Nutrition manufactures its entire line ... all clients at reasonable prices. At the ECRM trade show, it had a unique ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... highest level of nutritional and bodybuilding supplements, announced it attended the January ECRM trade ... a respected bodybuilder and nutritional scientist who was determined to create a line of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Vitamin Well has launched ... The drinks have been produced in collaboration with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and have been ... , After a successful launch in Sweden last year, the next generation sports ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Code Word: Chocolate Biscuit”: a biographical account ... Word: Chocolate Biscuit” is the creation of published author, Marlyn Ivey, born in Lynn Haven, ... he went to school and at 19 years of age, he joined the Navy and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... N.Y. , Jan. 20, 2017  Palladian ... programs, has announced the launch of an opioid ... new guidelines on opioids and helps stem the ... are often prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer pain ... despite serious risks and lack of evidence regarding ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... Avillion LLP, a co-developer and financier of late-stage pharmaceutical product ... as Chief Medical Officer. Dr Weinberg will be based in ... ... than 17 years as a pharmaceutical and biotech executive with experience ... course of his career, he has interfaced with the US Food ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Report Details What can be ... going to grow at the fastest rates? This visiongain ... trends, opportunities and prospects. Our 190-page report provides ... areas in the industry and the future market prospects. ... the all the major categories of the ophthalmic devices ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: