Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

White blood cell plays key role in body’s excessive repair response to asthma

02.10.2003


Airway scarring can be disrupted by targeting eosinophils



Researchers in London and Montreal report today that they have discovered an important link in the development of the body’s response to allergic asthma.
They have found that one type of white blood cell, an eosinophil, which was known to cause inflammation of lung airways, is also responsible for driving the process which leads to an excessive ’repair response’ by the body.

The response, which is called airway remodelling, causes structural changes in the airway walls and can sometimes lead to permanent scarring and narrowing of the airways, resulting in worse and repeated asthma episodes for sufferers.



The team of scientists from Imperial College London, the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, Guys Hospital, London, McGill University Hospital Centre, Montreal, and St Barts and the Royal London Hospitals Trust, report that the damaging effects of eosinophils in the remodelling process can be significantly reduced by injection of a single specific antibody.

Their research published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that the monoclonal antibody anti-Interleukin-5 (mepolizumab) both reduces the number of eosinophils in the bronchi and significantly decreases the deposition of special proteins associated with the remodelling process.

The scientists hope their work may lead to the development of ’really effective’ new asthma treatments that work by interfering with the remodelling process.

Leader of the research, Professor Barry Kay, of Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital, comments: "This research could be of considerable long term benefit in developing more effective treatments in asthma. We already know that eosinophils cause inflammation in the bronchi, but it is the subsequent repair process which may be more important in long term chronic disease.

"In the future, drugs may be available which completely interfere with the process of scarring or re-modelling, and may prove beneficial in the long term treatment of asthma."

Professor Kay adds: "Anti-IL-5 will not be a magic bullet for asthma sufferers, but it could be an important first step in developing really effective drugs which interfere with re-modelling."

Anti-IL5, which removes Interleukin-5, a key molecule in eosinophil development, was given to mild asthmatics as part of a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled protocol.

The 24 patients in the study received three infusions of either the antibody or a placebo dummy injection one month apart, and had a biopsy of the lining of the breathing tubes before and after each infusion. The scientists measured levels of extra cellular matrix (ECM) proteins in the biopsy samples, which indicated the levels of remodelling activity in the airway.


The research was supported by grants from GlaxoSmithKline plc and the Wellcome Trust.

Tony Stephenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>