Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Asthma Research Opposes Current Drug Treatment, Study Suggests

Date:
January 27, 2009
Source:
University of Houston
Summary:
Just as the FDA is reconsidering the use of stimulants to treat asthma, a new study offers evidence to support a theory that an opposite approach to asthma treatment may be in order. Scientists are investigating whether beta-2 adrenoreceptor antagonists (beta blockers) might be a safer, more effective strategy for long-term asthma management. A new study shows the absence of asthma-like symptoms in mice lacking the key gene that produces the receptor.

Just when the Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering the use of stimulants to treat asthma, a new research study offers further evidence to support a University of Houston professor's theory that an opposite approach to asthma treatment may be in order.

Related Articles


Richard A. Bond, professor of pharmacology at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP), has been investigating whether beta-2 adrenoreceptor antagonist drugs (or beta blockers) ultimately might be a safer, more effective strategy for long-term asthma management than the currently used beta-2 adrenoreceptor agonists (or stimulants).

The beta-2 adrenoreceptor is a receptor found in many cells, including the smooth muscle lining the airways, and has long been a target for asthma drugs. However, a recent study shows the absence of asthma-like symptoms in a mouse model that lacks the key gene that produces the receptor. This lends further evidence to Bond's theory that questions whether the pharmaceutical industry should be working to block or inhibit the receptor instead of the current approach of chronically stimulating it to reduce asthma symptoms.

The study, "Beta2-Adrenoreceptor Signaling is Required for the Development of an Asthma Phenotype in a Murine Model," is in the current online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials. A follow-up commentary by an independent scientist in the field also will be published in the print issue of PNAS in February.

The timely release of this study comes on the heels of the FDA considering a renewed look at the use of long-acting beta agonist drugs (LABAs) – at least those used alone, without a steroidal component – for the management of asthma symptoms. In an FDA report released in December, an analysis of more than 100 trials on four drugs (two LABAs alone and two LABA/corticosteroid combinations) found an increased risk of hospitalization and asthma-related deaths with the LABA-only therapy. During the same month, an FDA advisory panel urged the FDA to ban the LABA-only drugs and strengthen warnings on the combination drugs.

Bond and his colleagues propose an alternative to stimulants, using antagonists (or beta blockers) instead. This approach, termed paradoxical pharmacology, suggests patients may be treated with medication that initially worsens their symptoms before eventually improving their overall health.

Beta blockers currently are contraindicated for asthma because they typically trigger bronchoconstriction, decreasing the flow of air to the lungs. Bond has suggested, however, that although beta blockers would not replace the need for emergency inhalers for acute episodes, the negative effects associated with beta blockers eventually taper off to provide long-term relief from asthma symptoms. In addition, several studies have shown chronic use of the beta-2 agonists (or stimulants) can negatively affect asthma control and airway hyperresponsiveness by desensitizing the beta-2 adrenoreceptor through regular stimulation.

In this latest study, the research team was unable to trigger the development of asthma-like symptoms in a mouse model in which the beta-2 adrenoreceptor gene had been removed as compared to the mouse model with the intact receptor gene.

"The study indicates that, with regard to developing asthma-like features, the mouse is better off without the beta-2 adrenoreceptor at all," Bond said. "It means that whether we block receptor signaling pharmacologically by using beta blockers or genetically by 'removing' the receptor, we get the same answer. The research shows that blocking or inhibiting the receptor with antagonists, instead of stimulating it with agonists, reduces the asthma-like features of the mouse model."

Bond's co-authors come from a multi-institutional research team that include current UH pharmacology graduate student Long P. Nguyen; UH pharmacology Ph.D. graduate Rui Lin; former UH post-doc fellow Sergio Parra; UH biology graduate student Ozozoma Omoluabi; Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Nicola A. Hanania; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Michael J. Tuvim and Dr. Burton F. Dickey; and fellow UHCOP faculty researcher Brian J. Knoll.

With support from the Strategic Program for Asthma Research of the American Asthma Foundation, a second human clinical trial based on Bond's research is under way using the beta-blocker drug nadolol in patients with mild asthma. In the first clinical trial, sponsored by San Francisco-based Inverseon Inc., eight of 10 patients had less airway hyperresponsiveness on beta-blocker therapy at the end of the trial, although some did experience an initial negative response.

Commenting on the results of the first clinical trial, two U.K. researchers wrote in the Jan. 10 issue of the British journal The Lancet that the use of beta-blocker therapy for asthma warrants serious, but careful, consideration and further investigation, including the use of specific alternative types of beta blockers.

To those ends, Inverseon, of which Bond is scientific founder, has filed U.S. patent applications for using beta blockers to treat airway disease. Dr. William Garner, chairman of Inverseon, said the company recently received a notice of allowance – one of several procedural steps on the path to patent approval – from the U.S. Patent Office.

"The comment in The Lancet on Inverseon's human asthma study, combined with the notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent Office, represents important external validation of Inverseon's approach to asthma," Garner said. "We believe that our oral therapy has the potential to be a significant product for the chronic treatment of asthma."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Houston. "New Asthma Research Opposes Current Drug Treatment, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173733.htm>.
University of Houston. (2009, January 27). New Asthma Research Opposes Current Drug Treatment, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173733.htm
University of Houston. "New Asthma Research Opposes Current Drug Treatment, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173733.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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