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New way to halt lung inflammation in animal models discovered

Washington, Sat, 15 Jan 2011 ANI

Washington, Jan 15 (ANI): Researchers at University of Colorado School of Medicine seem to have discovered a new way to halt lung inflammation.


In the study, researchers used animal models of ALI (acute lung injury) /ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome) to show that the aggressive inflammatory state of specific immune cells can be switched off to control the runaway inflammation.


"We now know that cells of the so called innate immune system, neutrophils and macrophages, are involved in causing lung injury that can result in lung failure and death," said Richard Wright, associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and lead study researcher.


"While these cells are very important for our natural ability to fight off infection, the circumstances that lead to ALI/ARDS can overwhelm this beneficial role. Study of the neutrophils and macrophages that are responsible for ALI/ARDS has led to important ideas which offer hope for new concepts and options for treatment. For example, it is now known that the macrophage itself can exist in both an aggressive inflammatory state and in a more reparative state that can even help the lung to heal."


"The results from this study clearly show how an essential enzyme involved in a vital metabolic pathway in our body can control the inflammatory state of key immune cells responsible for acute inflammatory diseases," said Mehdi Fini, a research instructor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and one of the authors of the paper.


"The data from this study will also help us understand and dissect the molecular pathway involved in differential behavior of these cells in the pathogenesis of other diseases of the lung including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung fibrosis and lung cancer."


The study has been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. (ANI)


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