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09 - 05 - 2018

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a major advance in the mouse model

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammation of the lungs associated with smoking that affects 300 million people worldwide. It is accompanied by the development of major breathing difficulties. The usual comorbidities are cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and cachexia.
 
Epidemiological studies in patients have shown that this disease is associated with an increase in the number of white blood cells, in proportion to its severity.
 
Scientists have studied this disease in a mouse model of COPD (codename SHIP - / - in the image). They found in this model a rise in the rate of white blood cells and G-CSF a protein that stimulates their production.
 
They genetically deleted G-CSF in this mouse model (codenamed G - / - in the image) and found that the excess white blood cells had disappeared and the lungs had returned to a normal appearance. In addition, cardiovascular, bone and muscle damage had also disappeared.
 

 

 


This is the first time COPD is treated in an animal model.
 
Following this discovery, a clinical study helped verify in patients that G-CSF levels also increased.
 
A clinical trial aimed at lowering G-CSF levels in patients without endangering their immune defenses is on its way.

 

https://www.jci.org/articles/view/98224

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0037483

https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/putting-the-brakes-on-lung-disease