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.
Losartan blocks the protein angiotensin receptor type 1, and its effects on cigarette smokeinduced 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-betatargeted therapeutics might also be viable candidates for the treatment of COPD.
More information: Angiotensin receptor blockade attenuates cigarette smokeinduced lung injury and rescues lung architecture in mice, Journal of Clinical Investigation.