Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Yale researchers discover VEGF molecule contributes to the development of asthma


In a whole new approach to asthma research, scientists at Yale have discovered that a molecule called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) likely plays an important role in the development of the disease and raises the possibility of new asthma drugs that block VEGF receptors and signaling pathways.

VEGF is normally associated with the growth of new blood vessels in the lung and other organs. Yale researchers found, however, that in addition to this function, VEGF can also induce asthma-like abnormalities in the airway. When VEGF is expressed in the lungs of genetically engineered "transgenic" mice, asthma-like alterations develop, according to a report in the journal Nature Medicine.

"In humans with asthma, there is an increased level of VEGF, so we mimicked this condition in mice by over expressing VEGF in their lungs," said principal investigator Jack A. Elias, M.D., section chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Yale School of Medicine. "To our surprise, in addition to growing new blood vessels, many other features of asthma were also seen in these mice. We saw mucous formation, airway fibrosis and asthma-like pulmonary function abnormalities. We also found that if you block VEGF, you block the asthma-like manifestations in other mouse asthma models."

Previous studies showed that people with allergies and asthma have an excess of T-helper type 2 cells (TH2). Elias and his team found that when VEGF is produced, the TH2 response is increased.

A high percentage of people with asthma have allergies. They also have a higher tendency to become allergic to particles and antigens to which they are exposed. Normal individuals become tolerant to the same agents, instead of becoming allergic. "The reason why some people develop this tolerance and others don’t has never been understood," Elias said. "We found that this tolerance is broken in the genetically-engineered transgenic mice, suggesting that the VEGF-induced break in tolerance contributes to the allergic sensitization of asthmatic patients."

Elias and his team are currently examining how VEGF works at the cellular and molecular level. These latest findings add to the growing body of research from Elias’s lab that has advanced knowledge of asthma, a rapidly increasing chronic lung condition, which affects millions of people around the world.

Other authors on the study included Chun Geun Lee, M.D., Holger Link, M.D., Robert J. Homer, M.D., Svetlana Chapoval, M.D., Vineet Bhandari, M.D., Min Jong Kang, M.D., Lauren Cohn, M.D., and Yoon Keun Kim, M.D., of Yale; and Peter Baluk and Donald M. McDonald, M.D. of University of California/San Francisco.

Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>