Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury discovered

Date:
February 1, 2011
Source:
National Jewish Health
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a signaling pathway that is crucial to the devastating effects of acute lung injury (ALI). The data, obtained from cells, animals and ALI patients, suggest several potential therapeutic targets. Experimental blockade of one of the targets significantly reduced flooding of the lungs that is the hallmark of ALI.

Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a signaling pathway that is crucial to the devastating effects of acute lung injury (ALI). The data, obtained from cells, animals and ALI patients, suggest several potential therapeutic targets. Experimental blockade of one of the targets significantly reduced flooding of the lungs that is the hallmark of ALI.

Related Articles


"Acute lung injury is a devastating disease, with 40 percent mortality and no beneficial therapies," said first author James Finigan, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health. "Our study identifies several promising targets for therapy, including HER2, which is already targeted by existing breast-cancer medications."

About 200,000 people in the United States suffer acute lung injury (ALI) every year. It is caused by either direct injury to the lungs or as a result of other conditions, often pneumonia or systemic infection. In ALI, large amounts of protein-rich fluid flow from the capillaries into the lungs, leading to flooding of the airspaces and reduced ability to deliver oxygen to the blood. Severe ALI is often referred to as acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS. Currently there is no approved therapy for the disease. Care of ALI patients is supportive only, in which doctors try to maintain blood-oxygen levels. Approximately 40 percent of patients with ALI, or 90,000 people per year in the US, die.

Dr. Finigan and his colleagues had previously shown that HER2, a receptor involved in cell development and growth, participates in recovery of mice from chemically-induced lung injury. They hypothesized that it may also play a role in the earlier inflammatory phase of lung injury, which resembles ALI in mice. The researchers also knew that the inflammatory molecule interleukin-1β is a central player in ALI and the permeability of capillaries.

In a series of experiments in cell culture and animal models they connected interleukin-1β to HER2, which triggers a cascade of signals within epithelial cells. Those signals cause blood vessel walls to become permeable and allow the flood of fluid into the lung airspaces. When researchers blocked production of NRG-1, one of the molecules in the signaling pathway, they reduced flow of molecules through a cellular barrier by 52 percent.

The researches then examined lung fluid from ALI patients, and found heightened levels of NRG-1, adding clinical evidence to their data supporting an important role for this pathway. They published their findings January 19 in the online version of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Two existing medications, herceptin and tykerb, already target a malfunctioning HER2 in some cases of breast-cancer. Several medications targeting ADAM17 are also in development.

"Our work suggests several very promising avenues of research that may finally bring help to ALI patients," said senior author Jeffrey Kern, MD, Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. H. Finigan, J. A. Faress, E. Wilkinson, R. Mishra, D. E. Nethery, D. Wyler, M. Shatat, L. B. Ware, M. A. Matthay, R. Mason, R. F. Silver, J. A. Kern. Neuregulin-1-human epidermal receptor-2 signaling is a central regulator of pulmonary epithelial permeability and acute lung injury. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.208041

Cite This Page:

National Jewish Health. "Signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131133133.htm>.
National Jewish Health. (2011, February 1). Signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131133133.htm
National Jewish Health. "Signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131133133.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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