June 16, 2003 – An international group of scientists using DNA microarrays discovered nearly 300 genes associated with asthma and a possible target for drug development, according to a news release.
The team, led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, took lung tissue from mice with experimental models of asthma induced by different allergens. After analyzing the tissue with microarrays, they discovered that the expression of 6.5 percent of the mouse genome was altered in an asthmatic lung, the release said.
The researchers also identified one gene, arginase, which regulates pathways critical in an asthmatic reaction. They said they hope to come up with a treatment for asthma by targeting arginase.
The team, whose study has been published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, said scientists previously thought only about a dozen genes were linked to asthma. Researchers hope the results spur new approaches to treatment.