Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reversing smoke-induced damage and disease in the lung

Date:
October 14, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
By studying mice exposed to tobacco smoke for a period of months, researchers have new insight into how emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease develops. They also report a promising new way to reverse the lung damage underlying these conditions.

By studying mice exposed to tobacco smoke for a period of months, researchers have new insight into how emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) develops. In the Oct. 14th issue of Cell, a Cell Press publication, they also report a promising new way to reverse the lung damage underlying these conditions.

"It has not been very clear what causes the disease and there has been no therapy to stop or reverse lung destruction in emphysema," said Norbert Weissman of the University of Giessen Lung Center in Germany. "There have really been no new concepts about therapy in the last 20 years."

It's not for lack of interest, he said. In fact, COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is expected to become the third-greatest cause of death worldwide by the year 2020.

In addition to airway inflammation and decreased of respiratory function, COPD is often accompanied by pulmonary hypertension, which is essentially high blood pressure in the lungs. Whether this condition was a cause or a consequence of COPD was not known.

Now, with powerful mouse models of COPD, Weissman and colleagues provide evidence that changes to the pulmonary blood vessels and the development of high blood pressure precede the development of emphysema. They further trace those effects to an inducible form of an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which catalyzes the formation of nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide (NO) and the nitric oxide system are important for opening up blood vessels and maintaining vascular tone, Weissman said. When nitric oxide levels grow too high, however, the molecule can undergo a chemical reaction forming aggressive peroxynitrite.

"Simply put, peroxynitrite can modify protein functions, leading to the destruction of lung tissue," Weissman said.

It appears this is exactly what happens in the development of emphysema. Mice lacking the iNOS enzyme were protected from both emphysema and pulmonary hypertension. Importantly, existing pharmacological agents can block iNOS activity, and mice treated with one of these drugs were protected from COPD-like changes to their lung vasculature. Treatment with the inhibitor also successfully reversed the course of the disease in the mice.

"For reversal of emphysema, you need active restructuring of the lung," Weissman said, noting that there is more work to do to explore the pathways involved.

The iNOS inhibitor used in these studies has already been used in clinical trials with apparently no major side effects, Weissman says. He and his team plan to pursue use of the drug as an inhaled therapy, with the hope that it may reach therapeutic concentrations only where it is needed.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Seimetz, Nirmal Parajuli, Alexandra Pichl, Florian Veit, Grazyna Kwapiszewska, Friederike C. Weisel, Katrin Milger, Bakytbek Egemnazarov, Agnieszka Turowska, Beate Fuchs, Sandeep Nikam, Markus Roth, Akylbek Sydykov, Thomas Medebach, Walter Klepetko, Peter Jaksch, Rio Dumitrascu, Holger Garn, Robert Voswinckel, Sawa Kostin, Werner Seeger, Ralph T. Schermuly, Friedrich Grimminger, Hossein A. Ghofrani, Norbert Weissmann. Inducible NOS Inhibition Reverses Tobacco-Smoke-Induced Emphysema and Pulmonary Hypertension in Mice. Cell, 2011; 147 (2): 293-305 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.08.035

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Reversing smoke-induced damage and disease in the lung." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013121506.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, October 14). Reversing smoke-induced damage and disease in the lung. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013121506.htm
Cell Press. "Reversing smoke-induced damage and disease in the lung." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013121506.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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