Blood pressure drug limits cigarette smoke-induced lung injury in mice

December 19, 2011

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is among the most common causes of death in the US. It is a smoking-related disease for which there are currently no disease-altering therapies. However, hope that one could be developed is now provided by the work of Enid Neptune and colleagues, at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, in a mouse model of lung disease caused by exposure to cigarette smoke.

Neptune and colleagues found that lostartan, a drug used widely in the clinic (e.g., to treat ), reduced lung disease in mice caused by exposure to .

Losartan blocks the protein angiotensin receptor type 1, and its effects on cigarette smoke–induced lung injury were a result of the fact that blocking angiotensin receptor type 1 leads to a decrease in levels of the soluble molecule TGF-beta.

The authors therefore suggest that other TGF-beta–targeted therapeutics might also be viable candidates for the treatment of COPD.

Explore further: Smoking out the mediators of airway damage caused by pollutants

More information: Angiotensin receptor blockade attenuates cigarette smoke–induced lung injury and rescues lung architecture in mice, Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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