The molecule, identified by the researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, the Free University of Berlin, UC San Diego, and Shinshu University, prevents T-cells from orchestrating asthma brought on by allergens.
Minoru Fukuda, Ph.D., Professor at Sanford-Burnham said that they have identified a synthetic molecule, a sulfate monosaccharide that inhibits the signal that recruits T-cells to the lungs to start an asthma attack, and the molecule substantially lessened asthma symptoms such as inflammation, mucus production, and airway constriction.
The study, performed in mouse models for asthma research, showed that the synthetic sulfate monosaccharide blocks the interaction between chemokine CCL20-a T-cell signaling protein and heparin sulfate, a molecule that protects and immobilizes CCL20 on epithelial cells in the lung.
The researchers revealed that blocking this interaction stalled the recruitment of the T-cells that trigger inflammation and favorable results were achieved when the novel molecule was administered intravenously as well as by inhalation.
Fukuda added that pulmonary inhalation of this new molecule may help reduce asthma symptoms by suppressing chemokine-mediated inflammatory responses.