- Center for Pediatric Pulmonary Disease
Interdisciplinary Research Initiative
2/1/2012 - 1/31/2015
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Despite this, there is limited understanding of why excessive airway narrowing in response to allergen exposure, exercise, or viral infection, called airway hyperreactivity, occurs. Based on the high risk for the development of asthma in children that have a severe respiratory viral infection in early life, a mouse model of virus-induced asthma was developed by Dr. Holtzman at the Washington University School of Medicine. In this mouse model, as in children with asthma, airway hyperreactivity is inherited, providing the opportunity to discover the genes responsible for airway hyperreactivity. Aims: 1) Genetic regions responsible for airway hyperreactivity in our mouse model of virus-induced asthma will be identified using genetic mapping strategies. 2) The mapping information will be used to identify specific genes in the regions involved with airway hyperreactivity, which will then be studied in both human and mouse cells, in order to discover the molecular mechanisms underlying airway hyperreactivity. Potential impact: We anticipate that the proposed work will lead to the discovery of pathways that will be novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of airway hyperreactivity. Understanding and modulating these targets will in turn ultimately lead to the discovery of novel treatments in asthma as early as the next 10 years.