Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Common drug halts lung damage in emphysema

15.05.2008
An antibiotic commonly used to treat acne can prevent tissue damage caused by lung diseases such as emphysema, researchers have found.

A team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds and California, San Diego, studying a protein called VEGF have found that doxycyline - used to treat common ailments such as acne, sinusitis and urinary tract infections – also boosts the body’s ability to protect against damage to the lungs.

VEGF helps to maintain healthy lung tissue and emphysema sufferers are found to have unusually low levels of the protein. Dr Harry Rossiter from Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences explains: “In healthy people, the lungs have an active restorative system keeping them healthy, but in some lung diseases, the body’s natural protective processes are inhibited, partly as a result of low levels of the VEGF protein.”

In experiments, Dr Rossiter and his US colleagues reduced the levels of VEGF in the lungs of mice whilst simultaneously administering doxycycline. The researchers found that lung damage was minimal in these mice, compared with the control group which was not treated with the drug.

Ellen C Breen PhD from the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego says: “The images that we have of the lungs of mice that have been treated with doxycycline are startlingly different to those that we didn’t treat. VEGF-deficient lungs show vast pockets of tissue damage when untreated and greatly reduced damage when treated with doxycycline.”

The next step for research team is to try similar experiments with different drugs, with a view to trying to find one that will help the body rebuild lung tissue that has already died.

Dr Breen stresses that whilst the experiments show that doxycycline clearly has a role to play in preventing lung tissue damage, it is too early to say whether these findings would have a preventative role for humans with a genetic predisposition to lung disease.

“It’s also important to remember that we were treating the mice with the drug whilst inducing the symptoms of lung disease, so this is by no means a cure,” she says.

This research was funded by the Worldwide Universities Network and the US based Tobacco Related Disease Research Program and the findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry.

1. Doxycycline treatment prevents alveolar destruction in VEGF-deficient mouse lung is at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/117877627/abstract . A copy of the paper is available on request.

2.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung disease) is the fifth most common cause of death in the UK, according to the Medical Research Council. These diseases include emphysema and bronchitis and are characterised by a narrowing of the airways, caused by the death of lung tissue. Lung disease kills more than 27,000 people a year in the UK alone and around 85 per cent of these deaths are caused by smoking.

3. Dr Harry Rossiter is a lecturer in exercise physiology in the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences.

4. The Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds is one of the largest in the UK, with over150 academic staff and over 400 postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students. The Faculty has been awarded research grants totalling some £60M and funders include charities, research councils, the European Union and industry. Each of the major units in the Faculty has the highest Grade 5 rated research according to the last government (HEFCE) Research Assessment Exercise, denoting research of international standing. The Faculty is also consistently within the top three for funding from the government’s research councils, the BBSRC and NERC. www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk

5. The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK with more than 30,000 students from 130 countries. With a turnover approaching £450m, Leeds is one of the top ten research universities in the UK, and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. It was placed 80th in the 2007 Times Higher Education world universities league table. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.

6. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is one of the ten campuses in the world-renowned University of California system – one of the top institutions in the nation for higher education and research. UCSD Health Sciences comprises the School of Medicine, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,and the UCSD Medical Center, with more than 900 faculty physicians and scientists, 7,500 staff members, more than 600 medical and pharmacy students, and a health system including two hospitals and a cancer center that care for approximately 125,000 patients annually. The UCSD School of Medicine is ranked 5th in the nation among public medical schools and 14th overall by U.S. News and World Report (2006).

7. The Tobacco Related Disease Research Program supports research that focuses on the prevention, causes and treatment of tobacco related disease and the reduction of the human and economic costs of tobacco use in California. Its goals are to fund excellent research that addresses all aspects of tobacco use, to widely disseminate the research findings through a range of media, to encourage and support new scientific infrastructures and networks critical for a comprehensive approach to tobacco control and to serve as an information resource for those interested in issues of tobacco control. http://www.trdrp.org

8. The Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) is a partnership of 16 research-led universities from Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia. The WUN alliance exists to make significant advances in knowledge and understanding in areas of current global concern. By fostering and encouraging collaboration between members, WUN brings together the experience, equipment and expertise necessary to tackle the big issues currently facing societies, governments, corporations and education. http://www.wun.ac.uk

Jo Kelly | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

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...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

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...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

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....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

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,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>