Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea

Date:
February 4, 2010
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may one day be able to have an injection or use a throat spray instead of getting their tonsils removed to cure their snoring, according to a new study which found that a specific gene product may be responsible for the proliferation of adenotonsillar tissue that can cause pediatric OSA.

Children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may one day be able to have an injection or use a throat spray instead of getting their tonsils removed to cure their snoring, according to a new study from the University of Chicago, which found that a specific gene product may be responsible for the proliferation of adenotonsillar tissue that can cause pediatric OSA.

Related Articles


"We found that in the tonsil tissues of children with OSA, certain genes and gene networks were over expressed," said David Gozal, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, who led the study. "We believe that the results of this gene overexpression is increased proliferation of the adenotonsillar tissues, which in turn can cause partial or complete obstruction of the upper airways during sleep."

The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the United States, two to three percent of children have OSA. The current standard of treatment is surgical removal on the tonsils, but surgery is not without risks and potential complications. Currently, about 600,000 tonsillectomies are performed each year in children, primarily to treat OSA.

Dr. Gozal and colleagues have been studying potential non-surgical alternatives to treat OSA in children. To identify potential pharmacological targets, they recruited 18 children with OSA and 18 age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched children with recurrent tonsillar infections (RI), all of who underwent surgery to have their tonsils removed.

The tonsil tissue from each subject was analyzed for relative expression of the 44,000 known genes in the human genome. The researchers then further analyzed the gene pathways to determine which changes may represent differences with a high likelihood of impact on cellular proliferation.

"We wanted to find the most important and functionally pertinent genes, those with the most connectivity," explained Dr. Gozal. "We identified 47 genes and among those, two specific genes, both phosphatases, which are known to be very important at regulating communication in cells. Then we looked at the expression of the phosphatase protein and found that children with OSA have higher level of phosphatases in the tonsils." In particular, they focused on one protein called phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) that was expressed in children with OSA, but almost never expressed in the children with RI.

"We asked, 'What happens if we block this phosphatase?'" said Dr. Gozal. "Is this a potential target for pharmacological therapy?" Indeed, they found that introducing calyculin, a phosphatase inhibitor, reduced the cell proliferation and increased programmed cell death, or apoptosis, a process by which cells self-regulate, in the tonsils of OSA patients. "Together, these observations suggest that PSPH is a logical therapeutic target in reversing adenotonsillar enlargement in pediatric OSA," Dr. Gozal wrote.

"The next direction is to identify if selective clones of proliferating cells that may be affected by PSPH or by another of the discovered target genes with the intent of developing a non-surgical alternative treatment to surgery for OSA in children," said Dr. Gozal. "If there is a subgroup of cells that have specific markers, then we may be able to develop a therapy that could be specifically targeted to these cells."

"Phosphatases such as PSPH are an exciting prospective target for therapy in children with OSA," said Dr. Gozal. "We believe if we had effective non-surgical alternatives to tonsillectomies, it would be of great benefit."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204075031.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2010, February 4). Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204075031.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204075031.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

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