Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key Component Of Debilitating Lung Disease Identified

Date:
September 14, 2008
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Antioxidant defense system could be new target for potential therapies for COPD. For the first time, researchers have demonstrated a close correlation between the decline in a key component of the lung's antioxidant defense system and the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in humans.

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated a close correlation between the decline in a key component of the lung's antioxidant defense system and the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in humans.

COPD is a degenerative condition that decreases the flow of air through the lungs as the lung's air sacs are damaged. A study of lung tissue samples from COPD patients by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that expression of the regulating gene NRF2 was significantly decreased in smokers with advanced COPD compared to smokers without COPD.

The study team was led by Shyam Biswal, PhD, an associate professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. According to Biswal, NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2) works as a "master gene" to turn on numerous antioxidant and pollutant-detoxifying genes to protect the lungs from environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke. Biswal previously identified that disruption of NRF2 expression in mice caused early onset and severe emphysema, which is a major component of COPD in human. However, the status of this critical pathway in humans with COPD was unclear.

"This work clearly demonstrates that decline in our antioxidant system is involved in progression of COPD, which could also be the case for other environmental diseases," said Biswal. "There is no treatment of COPD, but NRF2 could be a novel target for the development of new drug therapies."

Rubin Tuder, MD, a co-author of the study now with the faculty of the University of Colorado, added, "As we learn how the protective actions of NRF2 are decreased in the course of a lifetime of exposure to cigarette smoke, it opens new venues for the development of novel drugs fitted for individual patients in specific stages of the disease."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health through an investigator- initiated grant, as well as the Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Lung specimens were provided by the Lung Tissue Research Consortium, which is supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

"COPD affects more than 16 million Americans and is the fourth highest cause of death in the United States," said Robert Wise, MD, professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and director of the Hopkins SCCOR initiative. "It is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death with a rising mortality rate in the United States. It is predicted to be the third largest cause of death by 2020 and has already reached worldwide epidemic proportions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Deepti Malhotra, MS; Rajesh Thimmulappa, PhD; Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD; Andrew Sandford, PhD; Mark Elliott, PhD; Anju Singh, PhD; Linan Chen, PhD; Xiaoxi Zhuang, PhD; James Hogg, MD; and Peter Pare, MD. Decline in NRF Regulated Antioxidants in COPD Lungs Due to Loss of Its Positive Regulator DJ-1. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, September 15, 2008

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Key Component Of Debilitating Lung Disease Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080912075154.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2008, September 14). Key Component Of Debilitating Lung Disease Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080912075154.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Key Component Of Debilitating Lung Disease Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080912075154.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins