Sumary of Injecting mice with pulmonary endothelial cells can reverse symptoms of emphysema:
- Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian in New York have discovered that injecting mice with pulmonary endothelial cells-the cells that line the walls of blood vessels in the lung-can reverse the symptoms of emphysema.
- The study, which will be published July 21 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), may lead to new treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung disease associated with smoking that is thought to be the third leading cause of death worldwide.
- The loss of alveoli is accompanied by a remodeling of the lung’s blood vessels that could indicate changes in the endothelial cells that form the blood vessel walls.
- Under normal circumstances, endothelial cells secrete molecules that help surrounding tissues maintain and repair themselves, but dysfunctional endothelial cells can drive various diseases, including tissue fibrosis and cancer.
- “However, it is not clear whether endothelial dysfunction drives COPD pathophysiology or is simply the consequence of damaged alveolar surface area,” says Dr. Augustine M.
- K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and a co-senior author of the new JEM study.
- Choi and colleagues found that various markers of healthy endothelial cells were reduced in the lungs of COPD patients, as well as in laboratory mice with an induced form of emphysema.
- Indeed, in the lung endothelial cells of mice with emphysema, numerous genes were associated with endothelial dysfunction, including genes that promote inflammation, cell death, and vascular remodeling.