Sangwoon Chung, Ph.D.

Sangwoon Chung, Ph.D.

Institution: The Ohio State University

Project: Preventing neutrophilic inflammation in severe asthma by targeting ETosis

Grant(s): Catalyst Award

Inhibiting airway inflammation by inhaled corticosteroids is a mainstay of asthma therapy. One type of asthma is called neutrophilic asthma, which is characterized by increased levels of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the airways. The most relevant clinical trait of neutrophilic severe asthma is its poor response to standard asthma treatments. Additional effective treatments are urgently needed for these patients. It is important to identify critical factors that contribute to increased numbers of neutrophils in asthmatic patients whose symptoms are poorly controlled by conventional therapy. To meet this challenge, we will study a novel therapeutic tool using optimized exosomes—cellular components that exist outside the cell—to provide pre-clinical evidence for mitigating the inflammatory asthmatic features for neutrophilic severe asthma patients. Update: Recent work from our laboratory has identified FoxO1 transcription factor, a known modulator of immune functions, as a key regulator of immune cells called macrophages in mouse models of asthma. We found inhibiting FoxO1 significantly mitigated the functional changes associated with asthma. We expect that blocking FoxO1 will reduce a protein called IRF4, which the lead to the reduction of allergic inflammation in the airways. This will provide preclinical data to support a future study seeking a novel therapeutic benefit for difficult-to-control (refractory) asthma.

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