Nora Barrett, M.D.
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2016-2017)
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Understanding Role Receptor Involved in Lung Inflammation Plays in Asthma
American Lung Association /AAAAI Allergic Respiratory Diseases Research Award
Funded in Partnership with the AAAAI
People with asthma have high levels of molecules that play a role in inflammation called cysteinyl leukotrienes (cysLTs). Recent data from our group and other laboratories suggest that cysLTs promote asthma in unexpected ways. We plan to study the recently discovered cysLT receptor GPR99 and determine the way in which it controls lung inflammation. This research should advance our understanding of asthma development and uncover novel therapeutic targets for intervention.
Update: We have found that GPR99 is involved in the release of mucus from cells in the respiratory tract called goblet cells in response to the inflammatory molecule called LTE4. This function is different from that of other known leukotriene receptors. Lung mucus can block airways and impair breathing. Common allergens such as the environmental fungus Alternaria Alternata elicit the generation of cysteinyl leukotrienes and activate GPR99-dependent mucus release. We will continue to investigate the role of GPR99 in lung inflammation.
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