Volume 11 Issue 241
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 15-Sep-2009 
Next Update - 14:00 UC 08:00 EST 16-Sep-2009

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
Vidyya.
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The making of mucus in common lung diseases

(15 September 2009: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- 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 mucus hyperproduction and subsequent airway obstruction and contributes to symptoms in several common lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis (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 lung disease, including asthma, COPD and CF.

TITLE: SPDEF is required for mouse pulmonary goblet cell differentiation and regulates a network of genes associated with mucus production

AUTHOR CONTACT:

Jeffrey A. Whitsett

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Phone: (513) 803-2790; Fax: (513) 636-7868; E-mail: jeff.whitsett@cchmc.org.

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

Return to Vidyya Medical News Service for 15 September 2009

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