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.

"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 July 29, 2014 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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