The making of mucus in common lung diseases

Sep 14, 2009

In the lung, mucus is produced by cells known as goblet cells, which are present in small numbers in the walls of the lungs and airways.

Many inflammatory stimuli, including allergens, cigarette smoke, and chronic infections, increase the number and activity of these goblet cells. This leads to hyperproduction and subsequent airway obstruction and contributes to symptoms in several common lung diseases, including asthma, chronic (COPD), and (CF).

New research, by Jeffrey Whitsett and colleagues, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has now determined that a molecular regulatory network controlled by the protein SPDEF governs allergen-induced goblet cell differentiation and mucus production in the lungs of mice.

As evidence that the same network is active in goblet cells lining the airways of patients with chronic lung diseases, the authors suggest that SPDEF regulates a molecular network that controls the goblet cell differentiation and mucus hyperproduction associated with common disease, including asthma, COPD and CF.

More information: View the PDF of this article at: www.the-jci.org/article.php?id=39731

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Apr 07, 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 ...

New problems tagged to smoking

Jan 06, 2007

Smoking can lead to obstructed airways or lung disease that could surface many years after smokers quit, doctors in Taiwan said.

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

19 minutes ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

23 hours ago

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(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 ...

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.