Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lung Disease: Top Notch Decisions In The Developing Airways Bring Insights Into Lung Disease

Date:
June 16, 2009
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
In the normal lung, the airways are lined by a balanced mixture of ciliated, secretory and neuroendocrine cells which perform functions as diverse as air humidification, detoxification, and clearance of environmental particles. This balance can be altered dramatically by faulty adaptation responses of the lung to cigarette smoke or allergens in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

In the normal lung, the airways are lined by a balanced mixture of ciliated, secretory and neuroendocrine cells which perform functions as diverse as air humidification, detoxification, and clearance of environmental particles. This balance can be altered dramatically by faulty adaptation responses of the lung to cigarette smoke or allergens in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

How these different cell types emerge from lung progenitor cells and how these fates are balanced in developing airways, remain an open question. A study from a research team led by Wellington Cardoso, MD, a professor at the Pulmonary Center Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Program in Lung Development and Progenitor Cell Biology, sheds light into this problem.

The Notch pathway is a major regulator of cell fate decisions in developing cells from fruit flies to humans. Using mouse genetic models, the BU researchers inactivated Notch signaling in the lung and discovered that airways no longer formed secretory cells. Instead they became populated almost exclusively by ciliated cells. The researchers showed that this imbalance seems to result from the loss of a mechanism of cell fate choice triggered by the Notch called lateral inhibition.

"When you lose Notch signaling, you lose the ability to generate secretory cells that make the lining fluid critical for protection and integrity of airway, and the other fate, of ciliated cells is de-repressed" said Dr. Cardoso.

These findings help to understand how airways form and provide insights into how interfering with Notch signaling may be potentially useful as a therapeutic intervention in respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, in which airways have an overabundance of secretory cells and paucity of ciliated cells in the airways. The link between hyperactive Notch and excessive secretion is now rapidly emerging from other recent reports.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tsao et al. Notch signaling controls the balance of ciliated and secretory cell fates in developing airways. Development, 2009; 136 (13): 2297 DOI: 10.1242/dev.034884

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Lung Disease: Top Notch Decisions In The Developing Airways Bring Insights Into Lung Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608143039.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2009, June 16). Lung Disease: Top Notch Decisions In The Developing Airways Bring Insights Into Lung Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608143039.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Lung Disease: Top Notch Decisions In The Developing Airways Bring Insights Into Lung Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608143039.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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