Smoking out the mediators of airway damage caused by pollutants

Jun 21, 2008

New insight into how pollution and cigarette smoke damage airways has been provided by Pierangelo Geppetti and colleagues, at the University of Florence, Italy, who studied the effects of such chemicals on guinea pig airways. As discussed, in an accompanying commentary, by Sidney Simon and Wolfgang Liedtke, at Duke University Medical Center, it is hoped that this information will help in the development of therapeutics to combat the effects of pollutants and perhaps help individuals with smoke-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic asthma.

In the study, chemicals found in cigarette smoke were shown to activate signaling in nerves that ended in the airways of guinea pigs. These effects were abolished using a molecule that inhibited a protein known as TRPA1.

Consistent with a central role for TRPA1 in sensing chemicals in cigarette smoke, no signaling in nerves that end in the airways was observed in mice lacking TRPA1 after exposure to the chemicals in cigarette smoke. Further analysis showed that alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes were the chemicals that activated TRPA1, suggesting that they might contribute to the airway damage that occurs in smoke-related diseases.

PDF of this article at: www.the-jci.org/article.php?id=34886

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How much smoking is safe? The answer appears to be none

Aug 27, 2010

Smokers often wonder if smoking less might be safer for their health. The answer appears to be no. Occasional smoking, and even second-hand smoke, create biological changes that may increase the risks of lung disease and ...

Scientists use DNA sequencing to attack lung cancer

Dec 16, 2009

Aided by next-generation DNA sequencing technology, an international team of researchers has gained insights into how more than 60 carcinogens associated with cigarette smoke bind to and chemically modify human DNA, ultimately ...

Changes in gene may stunt lung development in children

Mar 26, 2009

Mutations in a gene may cause poor lung development in children, making them more vulnerable to diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) later in life, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh ...

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

11 hours ago

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

22 hours ago

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

US family gets $6.75 million in Botox case

Nov 20, 2014

A New York couple who said Botox treatment of their son's cerebral palsy left him with life-threatening complications and sued its manufacturer won a $6.75 million verdict from a federal jury on Thursday.

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.