Enzyme and vitamin define the yin and yang of asthma

Mar 29, 2009

The allergen breathed in by a person with asthma triggers a proteinase or enzyme called MMP7 that activates a cascade of events to prompt an allergic reaction, said a consortium of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report that appears online today in the journal Nature Immunology.

In particular, MMP7 activates 25, a key mediator of the allergic response in the lung said Drs. Farrah Kheradmand and David B. Corry, associate professors of medicine-pulmonary at BCM, and senior authors of the report.

In the same report, the researchers report that they have identified a form of vitamin A made in the lung that is critical for dampening the inflammatory effect. that lack MMP7 were found to have higher production of retinal dehydrogenase, an enzyme that is responsible for synthesizing vitamin A in the lung. MMP7 deficient mice showed less lung inflammation when they are exposed to allergens than did mice who had enough MMP7. Suppressing the production of vitamin A restored the asthmatic symptoms in the MMP7 deficient mice.

"It is important to know which mediators in the airway may be setting off the initial cascade of events that result in the asthmatic reaction in the lung; it would be like getting to the top of the food chain," they said.

In the future, they said, they hope to identify the relationship between the synthesis of vitamin A in the body and the repression of MMP7.

More information: Nature Immunology -- www.nature.com/ni/index.html

Source: Baylor College of Medicine (news : web)

Explore further: Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Asthma risk increases in children treated for HIV

Jul 01, 2008

Children whose immune systems rebound after treatment with potent anti-viral drugs for HIV infection face an increased risk of developing asthma, said a federally funded consortium of researchers led by those from Baylor ...

Biomarkers identified for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Apr 29, 2008

The first evidence of a distinctive protein signature that could help to transform the diagnosis and improve the monitoring of the devastating lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is being reported by University ...

Some vitamin supplements don't protect against lung cancer

May 21, 2007

A study of more than 75,000 adults found that taking supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease the risk of lung cancer. The findings are being reported at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International ...

Study: Vitamin C might slow aging

Apr 04, 2006

Japanese researchers say mice lacking vitamin C age four times faster than normal mice, suggesting the vitamin might help slow aging in humans.

Immune system pathway identified to fight allergens, asthma

May 07, 2008

For the first time, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified genetic components of dendritic cells that are key to asthma and allergy-related immune response malfunction. Targeting ...

Recommended for you

Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

20 hours ago

Like human patients, mice with a form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy undergo progressive muscle degeneration and accumulate connective tissue as they age. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have ...

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.