There is not much to be said about asthma, which is a disease that makes breathing difficult. There’s one good thing about it: People with asthma are less likely to develop a brain tumor. Staff at the University of Washington School of Medicine found out why.
It was first noticed about 15 years ago that brain tumors were less common in people with various inflammatory diseases, such as asthma or eczema, but it was not known what the relationship between the two lesions was.
a Nature CommunicationsAccording to research published in , the explanation for this phenomenon lies in the behavior of the so-called T cells, which are part of the immune system. Because of the behavior of T cells, asthmatics develop inflammation in the lungs, but the same mechanism prevents the development of tumors.
The experiments looked at a human genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis, in which irritants caused asthma. Not only was it found that a lower percentage of mice developed brain tumors than the control group, but the protein secreted by T cells was also found to be decorin.
Both the caffeic acid phenethyl ester and trimers were found to inhibit a protein called NFkappaB, which initiates DNA transcription and cytokine production, under the influence of stress on cells (free radicals, heavy metals, and viruses), thus protecting mice from tumor formation.
Most exciting is that it can be demonstrated that there is a normal connection between T cells and brain cells. The next step is whether all of this applies to other types of brain tumors. We also study the relationship between eczema and childhood infections, with T cells playing a role in these as well. We believe that there is a communication between T cells and brain cells that supports tumor growth, and that this is an opportunity to intervene in this process with smart therapeutic approaches.
Said study author David H. Gottman, neurosurgeon and professor of genetics.
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