Cellular crosstalk linked to lung disease

August 18, 2009

Crosstalk between cells lining the lung (epithelial cells) and airway smooth muscle cells is important in lung development. However, it has also been shown to contribute to several lung diseases, including asthma and pulmonary hypertension.

A team of researchers, at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has now molecularly characterized one crosstalk pathway in mice, providing potential new therapeutic targets for treating individuals with lung diseases, such as asthma and , which are caused, at least in part, by affects on airway smooth muscle cells.

The team, led by Edward Morrisey and Ethan David Cohen, used numerous in vivo gain- and loss-of-function approaches to demonstrate that a Wnt7b/Tnc/Pdgfr crosstalk pathway was important for mouse smooth muscle development, with Wnt7b being exclusively expressed by lung epithelial cells and Pdgfr being expressed by the developing airway . Importantly, expression of the components of this crosstalk pathway was upregulated in a of asthma and humans with pulmonary hypertension, thereby indentifying the Wnt/Tnc/Pdgfr crosstalk pathway as important in both lung development and adult lung disease.

More information: Wnt signaling regulates smooth muscle precursor development in the mouse lung via a tenascin C/PDGFR pathway, , http://www.jci.org/

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: Progress toward new therapies for coronary artery disease

Related Stories

Progress toward new therapies for coronary artery disease

November 8, 2007

Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of mortality in Western countries. It cannot be cured. Recent research, led by Pilar Ruiz-Lozano, Ph.D., at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, may lead to new therapies ...

Asthma and smoker's lung: dry airways play a key role

April 7, 2008

Dry airways may not only play a central role in the development of the inherited lung disease cystic fibrosis, but also in much more common acquired chronic lung diseases such as asthma and smoker’s lung, the cigarette ...

Research reveals what drives lung cancer's spread

July 2, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) reveals the genetic underpinnings of what causes lung cancer to quickly metastasize, or spread, to the brain and the bone - the ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

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.