Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healing Process Found To Backfire In Lung Patients

Date:
October 28, 2008
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Summary:
A mechanism in the body which typically helps a person heal from an injury, may actually be causing patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to get worse, researchers have found.

A mechanism in the body which typically helps a person heal from an injury, may actually be causing patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) to get worse, researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and their collaborators have found.

Related Articles


"We identified a new mechanism that explains why some patients with IPF get more short of breath than others, in spite of similar levels of lung scarring," said Stavros Garantziotis, M.D., an NIEHS staff clinician and lead author on the new paper highlighted on the cover of the Nov. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is an incurable lung disease that affects approximately 50,000 people in the United States. In IPF, the lung tissue becomes scarred and patients have difficulty breathing, often resulting in death. The cause is unknown, though genes as well as environmental factors such as smoking and exposure to metal dust particles, are thought to raise the risk.

In healthy individuals, the body has a way of forming new blood vessels that can help heal an injury. For example, if you cut your finger, the body knows to deliver nutrients and cells to the injury site to promote wound healing. However, in patients with IPF, although there is a healing process that occurs, researchers say the process backfires or is disrupted and may be doing the patients more harm than good. Garantziotis explains that this involves a blood protein called inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor (IaI), which binds with a connective tissue molecule called hyaluronan to make new blood vessels.

In people without IPF, this produces a healing process in the lungs. But Garantziotis says something different happens in people with IPF.

"Instead of building healthy new tissue to heal the scarring in the lungs, patients with higher IaI levels develop vessels that are far away from where they should be, pushing the blood away from the lung and bypassing the area where the body gets its oxygen, thus causing more shortness of breath," Garantziotis explains. Patients with IPF may suffer from low oxygen levels and shortness of breath beyond the actual effects of lung scarring itself.

The researchers applied a true bench-to-bedside approach for this study. Starting with basic research findings from in vitro cell and experimental animal studies, they were then able to demonstrate, in patients with IPF, that higher IaI serum levels were associated with less ability to take up oxygen, thus worsening the patients' condition.

The researchers say there are at least two reasons why this study is important. First, it demonstrates for the first time the important role that a blood circulating protein plays in lung function. Secondly, it identifies a potential new therapeutic target for IPF.

In addition to the NIEHS, other collaborators on the paper include the Angiogenesis Core Facility, National Cancer Institute, Gaithersburg, Md.; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.; Institute for Molecular Science of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Aichi, Japan; National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver; and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Garantziotis S, Zudaire E, Trempus CS, Hollingsworth JW, Jiang D, Lancaster LH, Richardson E, Zhuo L, Cuttitta F, Brown KK, Noble PW, Kimata K, Schwartz DA. Serum inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor and matrix hyaluronan promote angiogenesis in fibrotic lung injury. Am J Resp Crit Care, 2008;178:939-47

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "Healing Process Found To Backfire In Lung Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027121513.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2008, October 28). Healing Process Found To Backfire In Lung Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027121513.htm
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "Healing Process Found To Backfire In Lung Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027121513.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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