Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric OSA

04.02.2010
Children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may one day be able to have an injection or use a throat spray instead of getting their tonsils removed to cure their snoring, according to a new study from the University of Chicago, which found that a specific gene product may be responsible for the proliferation of adenotonsillar tissue that can cause pediatric OSA.

"We found that in the tonsil tissues of children with OSA, certain genes and gene networks were over expressed," said David Gozal, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, who led the study.

"We believe that the results of this gene overexpression is increased proliferation of the adenotonsillar tissues, which in turn can cause partial or complete obstruction of the upper airways during sleep."

The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the United States, two to three percent of children have OSA. The current standard of treatment is surgical removal on the tonsils, but surgery is not without risks and potential complications. Currently, about 600,000 tonsillectomies are performed each year in children, primarily to treat OSA.

Dr. Gozal and colleagues have been studying potential non-surgical alternatives to treat OSA in children. To identify potential pharmacological targets, they recruited 18 children with OSA and 18 age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched children with recurrent tonsillar infections (RI), all of who underwent surgery to have their tonsils removed.

The tonsil tissue from each subject was analyzed for relative expression of the 44,000 known genes in the human genome. The researchers then further analyzed the gene pathways to determine which changes may represent differences with a high likelihood of impact on cellular proliferation.

"We wanted to find the most important and functionally pertinent genes, those with the most connectivity," explained Dr. Gozal. "We identified 47 genes and among those, two specific genes, both phosphatases, which are known to be very important at regulating communication in cells. Then we looked at the expression of the phosphatase protein and found that children with OSA have higher level of phosphatases in the tonsils." In particular, they focused on one protein called phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) that was expressed in children with OSA, but almost never expressed in the children with RI.

"We asked, 'What happens if we block this phosphatase?'" said Dr. Gozal. "Is this a potential target for pharmacological therapy?" Indeed, they found that introducing calyculin, a phosphatase inhibitor, reduced the cell proliferation and increased programmed cell death, or apoptosis, a process by which cells self-regulate, in the tonsils of OSA patients. "Together, these observations suggest that PSPH is a logical therapeutic target in reversing adenotonsillar enlargement in pediatric OSA," Dr. Gozal wrote.

"The next direction is to identify if selective clones of proliferating cells that may be affected by PSPH or by another of the discovered target genes with the intent of developing a non-surgical alternative treatment to surgery for OSA in children," said Dr. Gozal. "If there is a subgroup of cells that have specific markers, then we may be able to develop a therapy that could be specifically targeted to these cells."

"Phosphatases such as PSPH are an exciting prospective target for therapy in children with OSA," said Dr. Gozal. "We believe if we had effective non-surgical alternatives to tonsillectomies, it would be of great benefit."

Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.thoracic.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Magnesium magnificent for plasmonic applications

23.05.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>