Drug Shields Cigarette Smoking Mice From Emphysema

December 23, 2008

(ChattahBox) — Scientists have shown in experiments with mice, that a new drug may protect the animals from respiratory damage caused by cigarettes. The chemical CDDO-Im helped activate a master gene called Nrf2 that bolsters the lung’s ability to fight off chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, a condition that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some types of serious chronic asthma.

The finding holds out hope for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — a chronic progressive lung disease involving both emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis.

COPD the 4th-largest killer in the world, most commonly linked to smoking, is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and there are no effective treatments.

The report is published in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In prior research,  Shyam Biswal of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Maryland and colleagues found that Nrf2 works as a “master gene,” turning on genes involved in protecting the lungs from pollution and cigarette smoke.

For the new study, Biswal’s team exposed mice to cigarette smoke five hours daily for six months. Half the mice were treated with CDDO-Im while the other animals were not.

The researchers found that mice treated with CDDO-Im did not develop heart and lung damage while their untreated counterparts did. However while it’s a step forward, at this time the new drug will not cure the disease or halt the progression once it’s started.


One Response to “Drug Shields Cigarette Smoking Mice From Emphysema”

  1. edwards on December 23rd, 2008 12:11 pm

    Another company is showing success against COPD with rta402 (rta402.com), which is in phase 2 studies now. With luck, Obama will clean up the lethargic FDA and get important drugs approved a lot faster than in the past.

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