MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Pollution damage to human airways

Back to lung news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Lung News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Pollution damage to human airways




Scientists from Duke University Medical Center have identified how nanoparticles from diesel exhaust damage lung airway cells, a finding that could lead to new therapies for people susceptible to airway disease.

The researchers also discovered that the severity of the injury depends on the genetic make-up of the affected individual.

"We gained insight into why some people can remain relatively healthy in polluted areas and why others don't," said main author Wolfgang Liedtke, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Duke Department of Medicine and an attending doctor in the Duke Clinics for Pain and Palliative Care.

The work was published on-line in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives on Jan. 18.



Pollution damage to human airways

Diesel exhaust particles, a major part of urban smog, consist of a carbon core coated with organic chemicals and metals. The Duke team showed that the particle core delivers these organic chemicals onto brush-like surfaces called cilia, which clear mucus from the airway lining.

Contact with these chemicals then triggers a "signaling cascade," as the cells respond.

In some patients, who have a single "letter" difference in their DNA, a circuit called the TRPV4 ion channel signals more strongly in response to the pollutants. Prior research showed that this gene variant makes humans more liable to develop chronic-obstructive disease (COPD), and the current study provides an explanation for this observation.

About 75 percent of people have the version of the gene MMP-1 that leads to greater production of the molecule MMP-1 mediator, which destroys lung tissue. This genetic make-up allows for a turbo-charged production of MMP-1, which damages airways and lungs at multiple levels, Liedtke said.

A more fortunate 25 percent of people escape this high level of production of MMP-1, which appears to be reflected in the fact that certain individuals can better manage the effects of air pollution without grave airway damage.

The injurious molecule MMP-1 is known to enhance the development of certain devastating lung diseases, such as chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a top-ten ailment in world-wide morbidity and mortality, as per the World Health Organization. The devastating, tissue-destructive actions of MMP-1 can also lead to lung emphysema, which is chronic reduction of the lung surface dedicated to gaseous exchange, and to the spread of lung cancer cells, through migration of these cells from lung tissue that has become malignant.

The newly released study also provides a direction for developing therapeutics for those who are genetically more susceptible to air pollution and airway damage, Liedtke said. "If we can find a way to stop the hyperactivation of MMP-1 in response to diesel-engine exhaust particles and reduce it to levels that the airways can manage, then we will be helping a large number of people worldwide," he said. "It is attractive to envision inhaled TRPV4 inhibitor drugs, rather than swallowing a pill or taking an injection. I envision this as rather similar to inhaled drugs for allergic airway disease that are currently available".


Posted by: Scott    Source




Did you know?
Scientists from Duke University Medical Center have identified how nanoparticles from diesel exhaust damage lung airway cells, a finding that could lead to new therapies for people susceptible to airway disease. The researchers also discovered that the severity of the injury depends on the genetic make-up of the affected individual.

Medicineworld.org: Pollution damage to human airways

Chemotherapy of malignant mesothelioma| Clinical features of mesothelioma| Determination of stage in malignant mesothelioma| Diagnosis of mesothelioma| Do family members of asbestos workers have a higher risk of mesothelioma| Epidemiology of mesothelioma| Frequently asked questions faq in mesothelioma| Gene therapy of mesothelioma| History of asbestos and mesothelioma| History of asbestos associated mesothelioma| How does asbestos cause mesothelioma| Mesothelioma| Mechanism of asbestos cancer induction| Mesothelioma with no history of asbestos exposure| Molecular basis of mesothelioma| Multimodality treatment of malignant mesothelioma| Natural history of malignant mesothelioma| Radiation therapy for malignant mesothelioma| Staging of pleural mesothelioma| Surgical control of pleural effusion| Surgical treatment of malignant mesothelioma| Who are at high risk for development of mesothelioma|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.