A breath of fresh air for asthma sufferers
Asthma is a serious disease that is affecting an increasing number of children and adults and that is characterized by acute and chronic inflammation of the airway passages. An important area of research is the question of how inflammatory cells are recruited to the airways. One hypothesis is that the enzyme, (cPLA2), is involved in this process. In fact studies, previously published in Nature and Nature Immunology, have implicated this enzyme in the development of other lung syndromes. In the February issue of Nature Immunology (Vol. 2, No. 2, 01 Feb 2001), researchers from Japan and the USA used a guinea pig model of asthma to investigate the role of the enzyme, cPLA2, in the development of the disease. They showed that cPLA2 is responsible for the infiltration of an inflammatory cell, the eosinophil, and also for the subsequent airway hyper-responsiveness. This finding has exciting potential for asthma therapy – it now seems possible that, by targeting the enzyme cPLA2, drugs could be developed that block two major aspects of asthma at once to provide relief for asthma sufferers.
Alan R. Leff
University of Chicago
Department of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Chicago, IL 60637
Tel: +1 773-702-1859
Fax: +1 773-702-9181
(C) Nature Immunology press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza