Sydney [Australia], November 25 (ANI): Research led by the Centenary Institute and Sydney University of Technology (UTS) has identified a small RNA molecule called microRNA-21 as a therapeutic target and its inhibition as a potential treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) .
COPD, an inflammatory lung disease that makes breathing difficult, is often caused by smoking tobacco products or breathing air pollution. It is the third most common cause of death in the world.
In the preclinical study, researchers found high levels of microRNA-21 in experimental COPD models that included mice. The use of a microRNA-21 inhibitor (antagomir-21) as a therapeutic treatment has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve lung capacity and function in these models.
The researchers said that antagomir-21 both reduces microRNA-21 expression and suppresses the flow of inflammatory cells (macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes) into the airways and lungs. Lung cytokine production, which potentiates inflammatory responses, was also inhibited by the use of antagomir-21.
Professor Phil Hansbro, senior author of the study and Director of the Centenary UTS Inflammation Center, said their findings bring a whole new understanding of COPD.
“MicroRNA-21 is a common molecule that is expressed in most cells in the human body and regulates many critical biological processes. But our findings show that microRNA-21 levels are increased when it comes to COPD,” said Professor Hansbro.
“We believe that the development of new drugs that inhibit microRNA-21 could offer an entirely new therapeutic approach when it comes to treating COPD.” prof. its progress.
“Development of effective COPD treatments has been hampered by a lack of understanding of the mechanisms underlying the disease. Our data identifies microRNA-21 as a novel therapeutic target and its inhibitors as a potential new treatment for this major, currently intractable lung disease.” (MOMENT)