The making of mucus in common lung diseases

September 14, 2009

In the lung, mucus is produced by cells known as goblet cells, which are present in small numbers in the walls of the lungs and airways.

Many inflammatory stimuli, including allergens, cigarette smoke, and chronic infections, increase the number and activity of these goblet cells. This leads to hyperproduction and subsequent airway obstruction and contributes to symptoms in several common lung diseases, including asthma, chronic (COPD), and (CF).

New research, by Jeffrey Whitsett and colleagues, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has now determined that a molecular regulatory network controlled by the protein SPDEF governs allergen-induced goblet cell differentiation and mucus production in the lungs of mice.

As evidence that the same network is active in goblet cells lining the airways of patients with chronic lung diseases, the authors suggest that SPDEF regulates a molecular network that controls the goblet cell differentiation and mucus hyperproduction associated with common disease, including asthma, COPD and CF.

More information: View the PDF of this article at: www.the-jci.org/article.php?id=39731

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Research finds new mechanism that can cause the spread of deadly infection

April 20, 2018
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a unique mechanism that drives the spread of a deadly infection.

Selection of a pyrethroid metabolic enzyme CYP9K1 by malaria control activities

April 20, 2018
Researchers from LSTM, with partners from a number of international institutions, have shown the rapid selection of a novel P450 enzyme leading to insecticide resistance in a major malaria vector.

Study predicts 2018 flu vaccine will have 20 percent efficacy

April 19, 2018
A Rice University study predicts that this fall's flu vaccine—a new H3N2 formulation for the first time since 2015—will likely have the same reduced efficacy against the dominant circulating strain of influenza A as the ...

Low-cost anti-hookworm drug boosts female farmers' physical fitness

April 19, 2018
Impoverished female farm workers infected with intestinal parasites known as hookworms saw significant improvements in physical fitness when they were treated with a low-cost deworming drug. The benefits were seen even in ...

Zika presents hot spots in brains of chicken embryos

April 19, 2018
Zika prefers certain "hot spots" in the brains of chicken embryos, offering insight into how brain development is affected by the virus.

Super-superbug clones invade Gulf States

April 18, 2018
A new wave of highly antibiotic resistant superbugs has been found in the Middle East Gulf States, discovered by University of Queensland researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.