News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | December 07, 2020

Lung Tissue from COVID-19 Patients and Others Reveals Promising Target to Treat Lung Fibrosis

MBD2 serves as a viable target against pulmonary fibrosis by inhibiting macrophage M2 program

MBD2 serves as a viable target against pulmonary fibrosis by inhibiting macrophage M2 program #COVID19 #coronavirus

Getty Images

December 7, 2020 — An analysis of lung tissues from patients with different types of pulmonary fibrosis - including cases triggered by COVID-19 - has revealed a promising molecular target to ameliorate the chronic and irreversible disease. Experiments in mouse models of lung fibrosis showed that administering blockers of an epigenetic regulator called MBD2 via intratracheal inhalation protected the mice against fibrotic lung injury, highlighting a potential viable therapy. A poor understanding of what causes pulmonary fibrosis has greatly hindered the development of treatments, and to this day, no effective therapy is available other than lung transplantation. To tackle this limitation, Yi Wang and colleagues studied lung samples from patients with pulmonary fibrosis triggered by one of three causes: SARS-CoV-2 infection, systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease, or an unknown factor. The researchers also studied mouse models of pulmonary fibrosis, which they induced in the animals by administering the compound bleomycin. All cases of pulmonary fibrosis, they found, were characterized by overexpression of MBD2. This activity localized in areas occupied by macrophages - known contributors to the development of pulmonary fibrosis. To investigate this further, the scientists depleted the Mbd2 gene in macrophages of mice, which protected the animals against pulmonary fibrosis, characterized by markedly reduced macrophage accumulation in the lung following administration of bleomycin. As well, direct administration of liposomes - established carriers of inhaled drugs - loaded with Mbd2 silencer RNA into the trachea of mice protected them from lung injuries and fibrosis. Since MBD2 itself does not affect the essential epigenetic process of DNA methylation, inhibiting the molecule could prove to be a safe way to treat pulmonary fibrosis. However, future studies will first need to assess the impact of altered MBD2 expression in other types of cells relevant to pulmonary fibrosis, the authors say.

For more information: www.aaas.org

Related Content

Use of telehealth jumped sharply during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, with the approach being used more often for behavioral health services than for medical care, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Getty Images

News | Teleradiology | January 13, 2021
January 13, 2021 — Use of telehealth jumped sha
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the agency's first Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)-Based Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) Action Plan. This action plan describes a multi-pronged approach to advance the Agency's oversight of AI/ML-based medical software.
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 12, 2021
January 12, 2021 — The U.S.
Myocarditis among recovering COVID-19 athletes less common than previously reported

Getty Images

News | Cardiac Imaging | January 11, 2021
January 11, 2021 — In a letter published in the December issue of the American Heart Association's...
Jeff Elias, MD, is a neurosurgeon at UVA Health and a pioneer in the field of focused ultrasound.

Jeff Elias, MD, is a neurosurgeon at UVA Health and a pioneer in the field of focused ultrasound. Image courtesy of UVA Health

News | Focused Ultrasound Therapy | January 08, 2021
January 8, 2021 — A scalpel-free alternative to brain surgery has the potential to benefit people with...
The FDA is monitoring the potential impact of viral mutations, including an emerging variant from the United Kingdom known as the B.1.1.7 variant, on authorized SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests

Getty Images

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 08, 2021
January 8, 2021 — The U.S.
World-first techniques for predicting breast cancer risk from mammograms that were developed in Melbourne could revolutionise breast screening by allowing it to be tailored to women at minimal extra cost

Getty Images

News | Mammography | January 06, 2021
January 6, 2021 — World-first techniques for predicting breast cancer risk from...
Transaction accelerates Hologic’s entry into oncology growth market, provides new lab capabilities

Getty Images

News | Breast Imaging | January 06, 2021
January 6, 2021 — Hologic, Inc., a global leader in women's...
In this roundtable discussion hosted by ITN Editorial Director Melinda Taschetta-Millane, three medical experts will discuss the impact COVID-19 had on the industry in 2020, as well as projections for the industry in 2021.
Webinar | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 06, 2021
2020 was an unprecedented year, as the world grappled with a...
OptumInsight and Change Healthcare combine to advance a more modern, information and technology-enabled healthcare platform

Getty Images

News | Information Technology | January 06, 2021
January 6, 2020 — Optum, a diversified health services company and
Who should get the COVID vaccine? Roberto Lang, M.D., director of noninvasive cardiac imaging, University of Chicago Medical Center and former American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) president, received his first dose of the COVID vaccine in December. In addition to front line hospital workers, nursing home staff and residents also qualified for the first round of vaccinations. Right, Shannon Yaw, a nurse at a hard-hit nursing home in Michigan, received her first dose just before Christmas.

Roberto Lang, M.D., director of noninvasive cardiac imaging, University of Chicago Medical Center and former American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) president, received his first dose of the COVID vaccine in December. In addition to front line hospital workers, nursing home staff and residents also qualified for the first round of vaccinations. Right, Shannon Yaw, OTR/L, director of rehabilitation at a hard-hit nursing home in Michigan, received her first dose just before Christmas. nurse at a hard-hit nursing home in Michigan, received her first dose just before Christmas.

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 04, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dec.