Researchers find new treatment to reverse COPD, other lung diseases

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In a study conducted on mice, researchers found a receptor that could reverse inflammatory responses and combat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.

The findings, published in The FASEB Journal, found that the helpful receptor is one characterized for advanced glycan end-products (RAGE)-specific antagonist chemical compound, FPS-ZM1.

"RAGE disturbances in pulmonary disorders are precise and effective strategies with beneficial clinical effects," said Se-Ran Yang, PhD, an author on the study and an associate professor at the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in the School of Medicine at Kangwon National University in Gangwon, Korea. "Blockade of RAGE as a novel clinical therapeutic for COPD ameliorates emphysema/COPD development and progression."

The researchers investigated the efficacy of the receptor in both vivo and in vitro COPD models to see what the molecular mechanism by which RAGE influences COPD.

They found that RAGE was association with the up-regulation of DAMP-related signaling pathways. FPS-ZM1 also reversed emphysematous lung symptoms in the mice by a significant margin.

"No one expected the pathogenic roots of COPD to be simple, and this study gives us an indication of the complexity involved.," said Thoru Pederson, PhD, editor-in-chief of  The FASEB Journal. "The current pharmacological armamentarium is limited, and studies like this are thus extremely valuable as a foundation."