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:12/2/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... and pharmaceutical organizations to build intelligent, connected applications, was named the best Sales ... , The winner announcement was made today by the Software & Information ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ‘Tis the season for giving! Today, 20 ... the National Family Partnership and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the National ... the 10 winning schools who decorated their campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon Week ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Northridge, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... Elyson, announce that they now offer a comprehensive in-house dental plan for all ... dentists have developed a plan that gives patients a number of perks, including ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... PALMYRA, Wisconsin (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... inclusion in the 2016 Deloitte Wisconsin 75, an annual ranking and recognition of ... consecutive year on the list, having ranked from 2008-2016. In addition, Standard Process ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Chino Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, ... ... in eating disorder and mental health treatment has announced the opening of a ... specialized residential treatment for girls with mental health issues such as severe anxiety, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... FRANCISCO , Dec. 2, 2016  PipelineRx, a ... telepharmacy, will be offering demonstrations of its SaaS-based ... Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2016 Midyear Clinical Meeting ... Vegas . With nearly 300 hospital clients ... services and technology designed to dramatically improve pharmacy ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... December 2, 2016 On Thursday, ... honored excellence in research, development and innovation in the ... dinner was held in the presence of Sergey Tsyb, ... Russian Federation , Natalia Sanina, First Vice ... Murashko , Head of Roszdravnadzor, National Service of Control ...
(Date:12/2/2016)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ... provide updated financial guidance for 2016 on Thursday, December ... on that day with the investment community and media ... The conference call will begin at 10 a.m. ET. ... live webcast of the conference call through a link ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: