American, Chinese scientists find potential effective treatment for asthma

2018-02-08 01:47:29 GMT2018-02-08 09:47:29(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- American and Chinese scientistsfound a new treatment that could lead to more effective drugtherapy for millions of individuals with asthma.

In a study, published Wednesday in the journal ScienceTranslational Medicine, Luis Ulloa, a lead author and immunologistat Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and his collaborator fromChina's Shanghai University examined more than 6,000 compounds andidentified a drug called TSG12 that relaxes the muscles and opensthe airways in asthma.

This drug treatment, which is not toxic in human cells, canprevent pulmonary resistance in egg-and dust mite-inducedasthma.

Researchers found that a protein called MT-2 in asthmatic lungtissue relaxes airway smooth muscle cells and opens the airways butMT-2 was over 50 percent lower in asthmatic lung tissue.

Ulloa and his collaborators transmitted short electrical pulsesinto mice through electro-acupuncture needles.

It enabled them to identify the specific drug TSG12 thatprovides better therapeutic treatments for asthma and otherrespiratory disorders.

The TSG12 treatment was more effective than current treatments,including bronchodilator inhalers used by almost all people withasthma, Ulloa said.

"It is not a cure, but I think this treatment will give people alot of hope," said Ulloa. "There are a growing number of patientswith no alternative because the current treatments either havecritical side effects or aren't working. We hope this will givepatients a better option."

Their next step would be clinical trials, he said.