Asthma can be a severely debilitating disease. Its increasing prevalence and the fact that most treatments do not control severe asthma well has stimulated intensive research into genetic susceptibility to asthma in the hope that the information gleaned will lead to new therapeutics.
One gene identified as a asthma susceptibility gene is TIM1 and now, a team of researchers, led by Paul Rennert, at Biogen Idec Inc., Cambridge, has generated data in a humanized mouse model of asthma that suggest that targeting TIM-1 protein might have therapeutic benefit in the treatment of patients with asthma.
Specifically, the team found that an antibody that bound to a defined region of the TIM-1 protein (a cleft formed within the IgV domain) had therapeutic activity in the humanized mouse model of experimental asthma, ameliorating inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
- Sanchaita Sriwal Sonar, Yen-Ming Hsu, Melanie Lynn Conrad, Gerard R. Majeau, Ayse Kilic, Ellen Garber, Yan Gao, Chioma Nwankwo, Gundi Willer, Jan C. Dudda, Hellen Kim, Vιronique Bailly, Axel Pagenstecher, Paul D. Rennert and Harald Renz. Antagonism of TIM-1 blocks the development of disease in a humanized mouse model of allergic asthma. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI39543
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