Researchers Identify Potential Novel Target for Allergy, Asthma Treatment

Researchers from the University of Colorado have identified a new potential target for the treatment of allergies and asthma.

A new potential target for asthma treatment has been discovered, according to findings published in Nature Communications.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine observed mice models which over produced the mucin Muc5ac in order to show that the mucin is a central trigger of allergic inflammation. The authors wrote that it is an often overlooked factor that is known to cause breathing problems associated with asthma.

The investigators bred 2 types of the same mice, and then the mice groups were exposed to 2 separate allergic stimuli to trigger the airway hyper reactivity. The researchers were able to show that the genetic removal of Muc5ac got rid of the airway hyper reactivity.

“The role of mucus as a cause of asthma has been misunderstood and largely overlooked,” study co author Christopher Evans, PhD, said in a press release. “We found that it is a potential target for reducing obstruction in asthma.”

The authors continued that there are about 10 million Americans and more than 300 million people worldwide who have asthma, and this target is one step forward to treating asthma. The most commonly used therapies to treat asthma target the airway muscles that are contracted when triggered by inflammation. However, the current treatments are often used only temporarily, or are incomplete treatments.

“Whereas inflammatory effects on airway smooth muscle alone are insufficient for airway hyper reactivity, Muc5ac mediated plugging is an essential mechanism,” the authors concluded. “Inhibiting Muc5ac may be effective for treating asthma and other lung diseases where it is also overproduced.”