Study links hypoxia and inflammation in many diseases

Feb 18, 2011

Yet some athletes deliberately train at high altitude, with less oxygen, so they can perform better. Their bodies adapt to the reduced oxygen.

Now a doctor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has explored the relationship between lack of oxygen, called , and the inflammation that can injure or kill some patients who undergo surgery. In a , for example, the surgery and anesthesiology can go perfectly yet the new liver will fail because of hypoxia.

"Understanding how hypoxia is linked to inflammation may help save lives of people who have survived a major surgery only to be faced with potential harm to major organs," says Holger K. Eltzschig, MD, PhD.

Eltzschig's exploration of the relationship between hypoxia and was published Feb. 17 in the . His work was supported by more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Those high-altitude athletes figured into the research. How do their bodies adapt to low levels of oxygen? And how can that information help patients?

The answer appears to lie at the molecular level. The body can signal a helpful response to deal with low . To do so it uses what's called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). This is a protein that sends complex signals to help the body defend itself.

Eltzschig says that research now should focus on understanding more about the way these signals function.

"By focusing on the the body uses to battle hypoxia, we may be able help patients who undergo organ transplants, who suffer from infections or who have cancer," says Eltzschig, a professor of anesthesiology, medicine, cell biology and immunology.

"We know the body can do this. Our research goal now is to find out exactly how."

Explore further: Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Provided by University of Colorado Denver

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

10 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

11 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

13 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

On the environmental trail of food pathogens

14 hours ago

Tracking one of the deadliest food contamination organisms through produce farms and natural environments alike, Cornell microbiologists are showing how to use big datasets to predict where the next outbreak could start.

User comments : 0

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.