A new breakthrough has been discovered by the researchers from Trinity College Dublin, for people living with asthmathat may eventually lead to improved therapeutic options.
An important role in defending against bacteria is played by Caspase-11. However, it has never been implicated in this disease before.
The researchers found that when it is over-active, it can provoke a damaging inflammatory reaction. And when this happens, it’s likely to be the main driver of allergic inflammation in the lungs of asthmatics.
Caspase-11 can cause cells to die, which is a very inflammatory event as the cells release their contents, which irritate tissues in our body.
The role that inflammation plays in asthma – a very common and often serious disease of childhood was explored by researchers.
Although symptoms of mild asthma can be dealt with current therapies, severe asthma remains very difficult to treat.
The cell death in the lungs can be induced by a variety of irritants such as airborne pollutants, certain types of pollen and house dust mites and Caspase-11 is sensing these harmful things and causing disease.
The researchers who worked on this project are Lead author Zbigniew Zaslona, working with a team led by Luke O’Neill, Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.