The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Cigarette smoking causes lung inflammation, which can lead to oxidative stress, emphysema, small airway fibrosis, mucus hypersecretion and progressive airflow limitation. Since the inflammatory reaction to cigarette smoke responds poorly to current anti-inflammatory treatments, there is intense research to identify more effective therapies for cigarette smoke-induce lung damage.
Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is of special interest because it governs the growth, activation and survival of leukocytes directly implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD.
Cigarette smoke triggers the release of GM-CSF and other cytokines and chemokines which cause activation and recruitment of more inflammatory cells into the lung,thereby perpetuating the inflammatory response and exacerbating ongoing inflammation. These activated and recruited inflammatory cells also release proteases such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-12, which destroy the lung tissue, resulting in emphysema.
The research team from the University of Melbourne set out to determine whether blocking GM-CSF could reduce the inflammation and other deleterious effects of cigarette smoke exposure in mice.
To do so, they exposed a group of mice, half of which had been treated with a GM-CSF blocking agent, anti-GM-CSF, and half of which were controls, to the equivalent of nine cigarettes of smoke each day for four days. At the end of four days, the mice were killed and their lung tissue was examined for the presence of inflammatory cells.
"We found that anti-GM-CSF strongly reduced the number of potentially harmful white blood cells that infiltrate the lung after smoke exposure, as well as inhibiting the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-ƒÑ, the chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), which coordinates the movement of white blood cells into the lung. It also inhibited the protease MMP-12, which is known as one of the main enzymes able to destroy lung tissue," said lead researcher on the study, Ross Vlahos, Ph.D., a senior research fellow with the lung disease research group at the University of Melbourne. "Cigarette smoke-exposed mice that were treated with an anti-GM-CSF had significantly less lung inflammation in comparison to untreated mice. This indicates that GM-CSF is a key mediator in smoke-induced lung inflammation and its neutralization may have therapeutic implications in diseases such as COPD."
These results, though preliminary, may illuminate a new pathway toward fighting smoke-related disease, specifically COPD. "Short-term models often translate into benefits in longer-term models. We still need to develop new methods and agents to test this idea long term and we also need to learn if it is effective in reversing longstanding disease," explained Dr. Vlahos.
In future research, Dr. Vlahos hopes to test whether GM-CSF could be a key target in other disease processes. "We want to understand exactly how blocking GM-CSF alters disease processes at the cellular and molecular levels so we can use this fine detail to make other treatments."
But this research is no free pass for patients to continue smoking, he warned: "Our treatment deals with cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation involved in COPD, not cancer and other smoking-related ailments. Quitting remains the best and only cure for smoking-related lung disease."
Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > COPD > GM-CSF > Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor > blood cell > chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-2 > chronic obstructive pulmonary disease > disease processes > inflammatory cells > lung damage > lung tissue > smoke-induced lung inflammation > smoke-related disease > white blood cell
Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses