- Researchers disrupt molecule that causes excess mucus in lungs, may prompt new treatments for pulmonary disease.
- Scientists have reversed the damage caused by asthma in mice by targeting specific molecules that cause an overproduction of mucus in the lungs and airways. They hope this leads to new drugs to better treat asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and perhaps COVID-19.
- Excess mucus in the lungs can be fatal for asthma patients, but scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have broken up those secretions at the molecular level and reversed their often deadly effects.
- The researchers explained how they created an inhaled treatment that disrupted the production of excess mucus by reducing disulfide bonds in mice and opening up their airways. The same treatment had similar impacts on human mucus samples.
- Treatments for asthma like bronchodilators and steroids are rarely effective against mucus. Evans said they hydrate the mucus making it easier to cough up, but fail to treat the problem at the molecular level.
- The researchers tried to shut down this process by breaking up mucin disulfide bonds which contribute to the overproduction of mucus. They treated asthmatic mice with a chemical known as TCEP (tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine) which quickly reversed the disease. It also worked on human mucus taken as samples from asthma patients.
- “Loosening the mucus reduces airway inflammation, enhances mucociliary clearance and abolishes airway hyperactivity.”
- Such new compounds might also be used in treating pulmonary fibrosis and even infections like pneumonia or Covid-19 which attacks the lungs and airways.
- “These findings establish grounds for developing treatments to inhibit effects of mucus hypersecretion in asthma,” Evans said. “I believe they have life-saving potential.”
Original Article: NCU Anschutz Scientists Reverse Deadly Impacts of Asthma in Mice
More from: Anschutz Medical Campus on Innovation2
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