Mon, May 29, 2017 | updated 11:18 AM IST

Scientists find way to stop asthma attack

Updated: Dec 02, 2016 15:12 IST      
Scientists find way to stop asthma attack

WashingtonD.C [US], Dec. 2 (ANI): In a recent research, scientists from Johns Hopkins have identified a critical cellular "off" switch for the inflammatory immune response that contributes to lung-constricting asthma attacks.

The switch is composed of regulatory proteins that control an immune signaling pathway in cells.

The research has been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"Asthma patients are constantly firing through this pathway because those proteins are stuck in the 'on' position, without proper control by other proteins that shut down this reaction," said lead researcher Nicola Heller.

Asthma has been correlated with an overabundance of one type of immune cell called M2 macrophages in the lungs.

In a nonasthmatic person, the M2 macrophages activate to clean up inhaled allergens and foreign particles, and then deactivate when the irritant is broken down.

However, in people with asthma, the M2 cells and the chemical signals they emit linger and call in other cells that cause inflammation that can trigger an asthma attack with the classic symptoms of difficulty breathing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Over time, the lung is changed by secretions from the M2 cells, which cause the lung tissue to remodel itself, contributing to irreversible obstruction and poor lung function.

"If you prevent these cells from becoming the M2 type, you can potentially stop the continued inflammation and long-term structural changes," said Heller.

The research further, investigated the role of two proteins, GRB10 and p70S6K, in the control of the signaling pathway that activates M2 cells.

In their earlier work, the team found that the inflammatory pathway involving the two proteins begins with interleukin 4 (IL-4), an immune system chemical that passes through a protein named IRS-2 before activating the M2 cells.

They found that other proteins that stop the action of IRS-2 were not present in human M2 cells from people with allergies compared to healthy people.

This made IRS-2 more active and increased the formation of M2 cells in people with allergies.

In the new study, Heller's lab delved deeper into the IRS-2 pathway.

By analyzing chemical changes of the IRS-2 protein in immortalized cultures of human white blood cells, it determined that IRS-2 appeared in two different forms -- "on," which allows the signal to pass through, and "off," which stops the signal from activating the cells into M2 macrophages.

They began by observing which proteins became active in the presence of IL-4 in human white blood cells and add stop signals to IRS-2.

The activity of two regulatory proteins, GRB10 and p70S6K, increased after IL-4 exposure compared to the same cells that were not exposed to IL-4.

In further test tube experiments, the researchers treated the immortalized white blood cells with both chemical and genetic blockers, called small interfering RNA (siRNA), designed to render either p70S6K or GRB10 nonfunctional.

The researchers saw that decreased GRB10 and p70S6K activity resulted in more of the "on" form of IRS-2 meaning these proteins are responsible for turning off IRS-2 and thereby downstream M2 production.

"This confirmed for us that without properly functioning GRB10 and p70S6K, the cells could not turn off IRS-2 signaling and M2 production," said Heller.

The research team has already begun experiments to further explore the implications of these results, which include looking at differences in this pathway between cells taken from allergic and healthy individuals, and testing the efficacy of an inhalable drug that mimics the function of GRB1 and p70S6K to shut off the development of M2 macrophages in the lungs of mice.

"One of the advantages of working with lung macrophages is that they are one of the first cells that see anything that gets put in an inhaler," said Heller. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], May 29 (ANI): A new therapeutic approach may save diabetics from amputation by promoting wound healing, a recent study has suggested.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 29 (ANI): According to a recent study, an injectable antibody can be really helpful for lowering blood lipids and thereby potentially preventing coronary artery disease and other conditions caused by the build-up of fats, cholesterol.

Full Story >>

Gene discovery offers hope for female incontinence cure

Updated: May 29, 2017 09:52 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 29 (ANI): A team of scientists has made a breakthrough in the treatment of female incontinence - the urge to urinate frequently - by identifying genes that trigger the condition.

Full Story >>

This protein can help ward off chronic heart failure

Updated: May 29, 2017 09:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 27 (ANI): Japanese researchers have identified a receptor protein on the surface of heart cells that promotes chronic heart failure, affecting more than 20 million people worldwide.

Full Story >>

New dog skull find may help detect birth defects

Updated: May 29, 2017 09:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): A study of dog DNA has linked a genetic mutation to flat face shapes such as those seen in pugs and bulldogs.

Full Story >>

Soon, an accurate, cheap genetic test for anal cancer

Updated: May 28, 2017 13:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): A new genetic test could be an accurate and inexpensive way to find and treat those at highest risk of anal cancer - a disease with growing incidence in women, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people with HIV.

Full Story >>

Fight against leprosy: Efforts honoured with ICN award

Updated: May 28, 2017 13:44 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): The International Council of Nurses (ICN) presented its Health and Human Rights Award to Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, at the 2017 ICN Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on May 27.

Full Story >>

Higher BMI can cause cardiovascular problems for youngsters

Updated: May 28, 2017 08:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): A recent study shows that higher than normal Body Mass Index (BMI) may cause worse cardiovascular health in those aged as young as 17.

Full Story >>

Probiotics helpful in treating depression: Study

Updated: May 28, 2017 08:36 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): According to a new study, adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) reported improvements from co-existing depression, when they took a specific pro-biotic than adults with IBS who took a placebo.

Full Story >>

Exposure to diesel pollution ups risk of heart attack

Updated: May 28, 2017 07:10 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): A word of caution; avoid places with heavy traffic or try to find a different route as a study has warned that exposure to diesel pollution causes heart attack, heart failure and death.

Full Story >>

Statins improves heart structure and function: Study

Updated: May 27, 2017 23:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 27 (ANI): Briton researchers have found that group of drugs, which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood, is linked to improved heart structure and its function.

Full Story >>

Rock climbing for three hours a week may treat depression

Updated: May 27, 2017 19:14 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 27 (ANI): A team of researchers have revealed that bouldering, a form of rock climbing performed without the use of ropes or harnesses, for three hours a week may help to treat depression.

Full Story >>

Beware! Recreational cannabis doubles the risk of gum disease

Updated: May 27, 2017 16:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 27 (ANI): Beware! A study has warned that frequent recreational use of cannabis, including marijuana, hashish, and hash oil, doubles the risk of gum disease.

Full Story >>

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 27 (ANI): BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, a Parkway Pantai enterprise, successfully pioneered the day care Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) transplant program for low risk transplants like autologous transplant for multiple myeloma and mini-allo transplant for various hematological disorders.

Full Story >>

New hope for stroke patients with disabilities

Updated: May 27, 2017 11:22 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 27 (ANI): Stroke patients left with disabilities have been offered new hope as scientists have developed mind-controlled device that helps them retrain brains to move paralyzed hands.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 27 (ANI): According to a new study, people suffering from HIV tend to spend more time in therapy to manage the chronic condition.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): Latest robotic surgery may work as a boon for patients suffering from early stage oropharyngeal carcinoma (cancer of the mouth, neck and throat).

Full Story >>

23-year-old suffers severe heart attack due to smoking

Updated: May 26, 2017 16:01 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): With several reasons attributing to a paradigm shift in the age groups suffering from heart attacks to younger age brackets, tobacco induced cardiac arrests rate as one of the topmost ones.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): According to statistics, India has the third largest Muslim population in the world. The month of Ramadan is about to begin and a vast majority of this population will be fasting for a large number of days.

Full Story >>

Frequent recreational weed puts your mouth at risk

Updated: May 26, 2017 08:12 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 26 (ANI): Frequent recreational use of cannabis, including marijuana, hashish, and hash oil, ups the risk of gum disease, a recent study has found.

Full Story >>