Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery could lead to new therapies for asthma, COPD

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Researchers have proved that a single "master switch" enzyme, known as aldose reductase, is key in producing excess mucous that clogs the airways of people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Researchers have proved that a single "master switch" enzyme, known as aldose reductase, is key in producing excess mucous that clogs the airways of people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The enzyme's action can be blocked by drugs whose safety has been shown in clinical trials for other diseases -- a discovery that could improve therapies for the 510 million people worldwide suffering from asthma and COPD.

The findings are from a University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston study published in the online journal PLoS One.

Using cell culture and laboratory mouse experiments, the researchers showed that the enzyme, aldose reductase, is essential to a process known as goblet cell metaplasia that is seen in both asthma and COPD. In goblet cell metaplasia, exposure to allergens such as pollen, mold and dust mites initiates a series of biochemical reactions that causes the cells that line the air passages of the lungs to change from their normal state into so-called "goblet cells," which produce substantial amounts of excess mucus. Healthy individuals' lungs contain very few goblet cells, but patients who die from asthma -- an estimated 5,000 people annually -- have significantly higher numbers of these cells.

"Aldose reductase is key to a whole range of inflammation disorders, so it comes as no surprise that it should be crucial to the inflammatory processes that drive disease in asthma and COPD," said UTMB Health biochemistry and molecular biology professor Satish Srivastava, senior author of the paper. "The discovery that aldose reductase regulates mucus production and goblet cell metaplasia makes inhibition of this enzyme an attractive therapeutic option to reduce mucus-related airway obstructive diseases -- and for the first time gives us a real chance to alter the course of the underlying disease in asthma and COPD."

According to Srivastava, aldose reductase inhibitors have a number of potential advantages over current therapies for asthma and COPD.

"Existing therapies for airway obstructive diseases provide relief by preventing allergic airway inflammation, but none of these drugs specifically address the problem of excessive mucus production; further, there is no convincing evidence that current therapies significantly reduce mortality associated with chronic asthma and COPD," Srivastava said. "Also, aldose reductase inhibitors can be given orally, unlike current inhaler-based treatments, so medication compliance could be better. And finally they can provide an alternative to steroid treatment for patients who either can't take steroids or find that steroids have no effect on their disease."

The next step, Srivastava said, is clinical trials of the drugs as a therapy for asthma and COPD -- a process that should be expedited since aldose reductase inhibitors have already undergone Phase III clinical trials for diabetic neuropathy. The UTMB Health Center for Technology Development views Srivastava's research as so promising that it has applied for patents to cover their use as potential treatments for asthma, COPD and other inflammation-related disorders.

"Working closely with Professor Srivastava and other UTMB faculty, the next step is to prove the safety and efficacy of aldose reductase inhibitors for these conditions and develop them to improve the health of millions of people," said Jason Abair, associate vice president of the center. "We are looking forward to identifying appropriate partners in industry to help us reach this goal."

Other authors of the PLoS One paper include UTMB instructor Umesh Yadav, postdoctoral fellow Leopoldo Aguilera-Aguirre, associate professor Kota Ramana and professor Istvan Boldogh. The study was funded by a grant from the American Asthma Foundation, which has designated Srivastava as a Bill Bowes Scholar.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Umesh C. S. Yadav, Leopoldo Aguilera-Aguirre, Kota V. Ramana, Istvan Boldogh, Satish K. Srivastava. Aldose Reductase Inhibition Prevents Metaplasia of Airway Epithelial Cells. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (12): e14440 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014440

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Discovery could lead to new therapies for asthma, COPD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127101325.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2011, January 27). Discovery could lead to new therapies for asthma, COPD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127101325.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Discovery could lead to new therapies for asthma, COPD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127101325.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. 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