A new study in mice shows that the immune system can be regulated during inflammation of the lungs with the help of sugar: It showed that the Inhalation of ordinary sugar may help the immune cells in the case of infections on the jumps. Conversely, by limiting the glucose supply inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system such as Asthma could be mitigated.
Scientists have special immune cells – so-called macrophages – investigates, recognize how a vacuum cleaner of pathogens and foreign bodies and remove them. They found that these cells in the lungs of mice need certain amounts of sugar to function properly: When the macrophages were treated with a certain messenger substance, which prevented the cells from glucose, they could no longer exercise their function.
"During inflammation, such as occurs in Asthma and helminth infections, seems to glucose to control the activation of macrophages in the lungs. Every day, hundreds of people with asthma are seizures in a hospital, while potentially fatal, infections occur with lung parasites in many Parts of Africa and Asia. The idea that the change in the blood sugar levels could be in the lung one day, a crucial factor in the treatment of these diseases, is extremely fascinating."
Donald now plans to investigate the effects of glucose on human lung macrophages. Since many cells in the lung have glucose receptors, he believes that this is an opportunity for the development of drugs.