How anti-inflammatory drugs differentially affect the bronchoprotective signalling of Protease-Activated Receptor-2 [ 2008 - 2010 ]

Also known as: Modulation of the airway receptors by drugs and disease

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Peter Henry (Principal investigator)

Brief description Asthma contributes significantly to the burden of ill health and impaired quality of life in Australian communities, and for many measures of asthma, Australia has amongst the highest prevalence when compared with other countries. Furthermore, there is evidence that the prevalence of asthma has increased during the latter part of the 20th century. There is currently no cure for asthma, and the need for better asthma therapies through the discovery of novel targets for drug development has never been more acute. PAR2 is a receptor that is located on the surface of many cell types in the respiratory tract, including the epithelial cells that line the airway tubes. When PAR2 is stimulated it causes the epithelial cells to produce and release large amounts of PGE2 (prostaglandin E2). PGE2 released from epithelial cells then binds to other proteins such as the prostanoid EP2 receptor located on smooth muscle cells. This causes the airway smooth muscle cells to relax. Drugs that cause airway smooth muscle cells to relax - called bronchodilators - make breathing easier, and are often used during an asthma attack to relieve bronchoconstriction. It also appears that activation of the PPP axis inhibits airway wall swelling (that is, has anti-inflammatory actions). Thus, drugs that activate the PPP axis may be beneficial in the treatment of asthma by reducing airway sweeling and producing smooth muscle relaxation. Thus, we we are investigating ways of optimally stimulating the PAR2-PGE2-prostanoid EP2 receptor axis (the PPP axis), as a means of develeping novel treatments for asthma.

Funding Amount $AUD 421,690.08

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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