New synthetic molecule to prevent asthma attack
There is good news for asthma patients as scientists have now identified a new synthetic molecule that prevents T-cells from orchestrating asthma brought on by allergens.
"We have identified a synthetic molecule, a sulfate monosaccharide, that inhibits the signal that recruits T-cells to the lungs to start an asthma attack," said Minoru Fukuda of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in the US.
The molecule substantially lessened asthma symptoms such as inflammation, mucus production, and airway constriction, Fukuda added.
The study, performed in mouse models for asthma research, showed that the synthetic sulfate monosaccharide blocks the interaction between chemokine CCL20 - a T-cell signaling protein - and heparin sulfate, a molecule that protects and immobilises CCL20 on epithelial cells in the lung.
Blocking this interaction stalled the recruitment of the T-cells that trigger inflammation.
The favourable results were achieved when the novel molecule was administered intravenously as well as by inhalation.
"Pulmonary inhalation of this new molecule may help reduce asthma symptoms by suppressing chemokine-mediated inflammatory responses," Fukuda added.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.
The study appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
(Posted on 13-05-2014)