Scientists identify cells that could help unlock the key to treatment-resistant asthma
A research team from the University of Michigan Health system has demonstrated the role of a newly-discovered type of cell in inflaming airways in mice, even when steroids are present. This finding could lead to a better understanding of treatment-resistant asthma. The study also found that levels of a similar cell type of cell were higher in those with asthma. The researchers call the new cell type “type 2 myeloid (TM2).” In the lungs, T2M cells were shown to receive specific distress signals sent out by cells in the lung lining, as well as to produce molecules that lead to more inflammation. “While we’ve verified that this cell can be seen in people with asthma, we need to find out in a large group if it is more prominent in people with more severe, treatment-resistant forms of the disease -- and even whether it could help define the characteristics of someone who will eventually develop that form of asthma,” Bryan Petersen, a medical student who co-led the study, said.