Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researches Discover Gene that Determines Asthma Susceptibility by Regulating Inflammation

06.07.2005


Findings offer therapeutic potential for human asthma treatment



Disruption of a single gene, Nrf2, plays a critical role in determining the susceptibility to asthma. A research team led by Shyam Biswal, PhD, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found the absence of Nrf2 exacerbated allergen-mediated asthma in mice models. The study’s findings, published in the July 4, 2005, edition of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, may hold therapeutic potential for the treatment of human asthma.

Asthma is a complex inflammatory disease of the airway characterized by airway inflammation and hyperreactivity. The incidence of asthma has doubled in the past two decades in the United States, affecting 20 million Americans. Controlling inflammation is a focus of asthma therapy. Inflammation occurs when certain cells migrate into the airways. These “inflammatory” cells release reactive oxygen species (ROS), causing the airway lining to swell and restrict. ROS is thought to cause lung tissue damage as well. ROS levels are normally offset by antioxidants in non-asthmatics. Recently, researchers have been hunting for novel genes that regulate inflammation with the hope of developing them as targets for the next generation of asthma drugs.


Suspecting that a defect in antioxidant response exacerbates asthma severity, the team of researchers began looking into the genetic factors that might contribute to this deficiency. In 2002, Biswal’s lab discovered Nrf2 acts as a master regulator of the majority of antioxidant pathways and detoxifying enzymes for environmental pollutants. This led researchers to consider the role of Nrf2 in lung inflammatory diseases caused by exposure to allergens. They found that the absence of the Nrf2 gene increased migration of inflammatory cells into the airways and caused an enhanced asthmatic response in mice. “Nrf2 is critical for proper response to allergens in lungs and maintenance of a balance between ROS production. Antioxidant capability regulated by Nrf2 may be a major determinant of susceptibility to allergen-mediated asthma,” says Biswal. “Nrf2 regulated pathways seem to intervene inflammation at several points.”

The findings provide a better understanding of the human body’s defense mechanisms to stress, which may hold clues to better control the inflammation process and improve control over asthma and its symptoms. Study coauthor Tirumalai Rangasamy, PhD said that the next step for researchers will be to look for molecular mechanism of regulation of asthmatic inflammation by Nrf2 and determine if there are alterations in the response of Nrf2 gene in asthma-prone humans. Future studies will determine the therapeutic potential of targeting Nrf2 for treatment of asthma.

“Disruption of Nrf2 enhances susceptibility to severe airway inflammation and asthma in mice” was written by Tirumalai Rangasamy, Jia Guo, Wayne A. Mitzner, Jessica Roman, Anju Singh, Allison D. Fryer, Masayuki Yamamoto, Thomas W. Kensler, Rubin M. Tuder, Steve N. Georas and Shyam Biswal.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund, the Flight Attendant Research Institute and the Thomas and Carol McCann Innovative Research Fund for Asthma and Respiratory Disease.

Contact for the Department of Environmental Health Sciences: Brian Fitzek (443) 287-2905 or bfitzek@jhsph.edu.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.

Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>