University of Florida
Targeting Protein May Reduce Severity of Pulmonary Hypertension
High blood pressure in the lungs, known as pulmonary hypertension, complicates the care of many patients with chronic lung disease, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This results in frequent hospitalization and an increased risk of death. While it is known that myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M.D.SCs), a population of cells connected with malignant tumor growth and spread, are associated with the development of pulmonary hypertension, the way in which these cells are recruited to the lung is unknown. We will use animal models to investigate the hypothesis that deleting a protein called chemokine receptor CXCR2 can reduce the severity of pulmonary hypertension. The project could lead to identification of a novel target for l treatment.
Update: Our lab has continued to make great strides in research on the role of myeloid cells in the development of pulmonary hypertension, resulting in two original research articles published in leading journals in the field of pulmonary disease. This is in addition to two pending original research articles and an invited review paper. Our lab's discovery opens up a completely novel method of approaching the problem of pulmonary hypertension therapeutic development, shifting focus away from vasodilatory agents (which widen blood vessels) to those that influence accumulation and activation of circulating myeloid-cell populations.