Cigarette smoking induced COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a disease that results in severe breathing difficulty. According to World Health Organization (WHO) it is the fourth leading killer worldwide. However the mechanisms responsible for some smokers developing COPD and others evading the disease have not been well understood.
Dr.Manuel Cosio from the McGill University Health Centre, in collaboration with Italian and Spanish scientists, reports in the New England Journal of Medicine that an autoimmune mechanism, compounded by genetic predisposition in COPD, would explain the progression of the disease in some smokers and the evasion in others. COPD has a family connection and next of kin of patients with COPD have a much higher chance of developing the disease, a characteristic of autoimmune diseases.
Although smoking is the primary risk factor for COPD in the western world, open fire pollutant cooking and heating fuels in the home is an important risk factor for the development of COPD in women in developing nations. "Smoke can play an important role in autoimmune diseases such as COPD, and other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, because it accentuates genetic predispositions to the disease," warns Dr. Cosio.
Yet contrary to previous scientific beliefs, COPD does not progress in the same way in all smokers. The authors describe three steps in the potential progression to COPD in smokers: "COPD does not go from stage one, two and three in all people," Dr. Cosio says. "Depending on their personal balance between immune response and immune control some people would stop at stage one, others at stage two, and some will progress to stage three, full autoimmunity and lung destruction."
"Hopefully investigators will now see the disease in a totally different way," Dr Cosio stresses. "Our hope is that our research will open the door for a different investigation on COPD, where scientists learn more about the immunological processes and how these processes could be controlled and modulated to eventually provide the right treatment."
Dr Manuel Cosio
Dr Manuel Cosio is Professor of respiratory medicine at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and an investigator in "Respiratory health" at the Meakins Christie laboratories of the Research institute of the MUHC.
This study was supported by the Lloyd-Carr Harris Foundation, the Italian Ministry of University and Research and CIBERES (Centro de investigación biomédica en red sobre enfermedades respiratorias).
This article was authored by Dr.Manuel G. Cosio of the McGill University Health Centre (Canada), Dr.Marina Saetta of the University of Padua, (Italy) and Dr.Alvar Agusti of the Hospital Universitario Son Dureta, (Spain).
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre. Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, the university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. The institute supports over 600 researchers, nearly 1200 graduate and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge.
The Research Institute of the MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.
New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University
Chances to treat childhood dementia
24.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences