Scientists Find New Way To Tackle Severe Asthma

Apr, 2022 - By WMR

Scientists Find New Way To Tackle Severe Asthma

New study identified an anti-inflammatory molecule that may help to develop new treatments for severe asthma

Asthma is a common condition that is found to affect several people across the world each year. While the condition can be treated, it will always need new options. The condition is characterized by shortness of breath due to inflammation of airways in the patient. A group of researchers at Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) found a novel approach to treat severe asthma. The researchers identified an anti-inflammatory molecule that may lead to development of new treatments for asthma.

Asthma is essentially is an overactivation of the immune system responding to allergens such as smoke, dust, pollution or other factors. Previous studies found that a protein known as JAK1 that in a way drives immune responses as it signals for immune cells called as macrophages for patrolling for foreign bodies. Sometimes this JAK1 gets overactivated and stimulate macrophages excessively and creates inflammation. This further can cause several conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma. In this study, the team identified a JAK inhibitor that produced by human bodies. The molecules is called as itaconate and was earlier found to act as an off-switch for inflammation, as it stops overactivation of macrophages. Now, it is also found to act JAK1 and together these two approaches can stop the inflammation helping against asthma.

Furthermore, the team tested a derivative of itaconate known as 4-OI on engineered mouse with severe asthma, in which normal anti-inflammatory steroid treatment fails to respond. The scientists found that the molecule decreased activation of JAK1 and reduced severity of asthma in those mice. According to the scientists, this approach could lead to potential novel therapeutics for severe asthma requiring new treatments.

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