Asthma drug discovery
(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers from Kings College London have uncovered a new mechanism of action for a group of asthma drugs already on the market, which could enable more effective treatment for patients with a particular type of allergic asthma between 30 to 50 per cent of sufferers.
A team of scientists and clinicians from the MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma at Kings College London, part of Kings Health Partners, have identified why a group of drugs known as Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) are effective in some asthma cases, but not others. The researchers say further studies in patients are needed, but this information points towards a more targeted effective treatment option that could remove the need for steroids and improve outcomes in this group of patients.
Until now LTRAs were believed to suppress wheezing by preventing the airway smooth muscles in the lung contracting. But this new study, published online today in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, suggests these drugs may also stop the inflammation that causes asthma by targeting T-cells that are known to be critical to asthma development in between 30 to 50 percent of cases.
The researchers examined human TH2 cells (a type of T-cell) donated by asthma patients from Guys Hospital, and compared these to similar cells that do not cause asthma. The researchers found that receptors, called Cysteinyl leukotriene receptors (CysLTRs), were highly expressed in the TH2 cells. During an asthma attack chemicals called leukotrienes (LTs) are produced which bind to the CysLTRs and cause inflammation in the lung. When a type of LTRA drug was introduced to the cells, the drugs blocked the CysLTRs on TH2 cells.
Recently researchers in the US have developed a blood test to identify which patients asthma is caused by T-cell inflammation. The Kings researchers say that in the future a test like this could be used to identify which patients might benefit from LTRAs.
Dr David Cousins, Senior Lecturer from the MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma at Kings College London, said: "This is an extremely exciting finding which represents a major step forward in our understanding of the mechanisms of asthma treatment.
"We already knew that only a certain group of patients respond to LTRA drugs, but for the first time we have a possible reason why we have identified a new mechanism of action. We now have a more complete picture of how these drugs work so we could in the future target them more effectively to those patients who we know will respond well. LTRAs can easily be taken in tablet-form and could even remove the need for steroids, which is currently the first line of treatment in most cases.
We have seen this mechanism in human cells in the lab, and now we would like to carry out further studies in asthma patients lungs to see it working in action."
Although commonly prescribed in the US and mainland Europe, LTRAs are not widely prescribed to patients in the UK.
Dr. Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said: "Currently leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) can be a useful addition to inhaled steroids for people with more severe allergic asthma, although it is not yet clear exactly how they work. This research seems to suggest that they play a greater role in fighting inflammation than has previously been thought, which could have important implications in both the selection of people with asthma who might benefit from taking them and the development of new treatments."
Provided by King's College London
- Discovery of asthma cause could help treat sufferers Oct 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Asthma pill more user friendly than inhalers -- and no less effective May 04, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Cells that mediate steroid-resistant asthma identified by scientists at Children's Hospital Sep 19, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- New therapeutic targets for virally-induced asthma attacks suggested May 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Research revelation could shape future long-term treatment of asthma May 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Change in momentum when a body is thrown up and falls back down.
3 hours ago Say, a body of mass 'm' is thrown at a certain angle with the vertical with certain initial velocity 'u'. The initial momentum of this object is mu....
change in speed and wavelength of light while travelling from one med
4 hours ago what is the mechanism by which light changes its speed and wavelength while travelling from one medium to other. I know it is c/n or lamda/n and know...
Calculus of Variation - Classical Mechanics
6 hours ago I'm reading Classical Mechanics (Taylor), and the 6th chapter is a basic introduction to calculus of variations. I'm super confused :confused: ...
Frictional Force Equation Doesn't Make Sense
6 hours ago Frictional Force is mathematically defined as: Ff = μ*m*g*cos(θ) , where μ is the coefficient of friction, m is the mass of the object, g is...
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
12 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
17 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Raising hopes for cell-based therapies, UC San Francisco researchers have created the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. The researchers showed that, in mice, ...
Immunology May 16, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. They have shown that dectin-1 ...
Immunology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Women's immune systems age more slowly than men's, suggests research in BioMed Central's open access journal Immunity & Ageing. The slower decline in a woman's immune system may contribute to women living longer than men. ...
Immunology May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Newly described type of immune cell and T cells share similar path to maturity, according to new study
(Medical Xpress)—Labs around the world, and a core group at Penn, have been studying recently described populations of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). Some researchers liken them to foot soldiers that ...
Immunology May 14, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Cytokines are molecules produced by immune cells that induce the migration of other cells to sites of infection or injury, promote the production of anti-microbial agents, and signal the production of inflammatory ...
Immunology May 13, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
6 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |