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Asthma may affect entire body, not just lungs

Wed, Nov 05, 2014, 01:41 PM
New York, Nov 5 : Asthma could be more dangerous than previously thought. Researchers have found that it could impact the whole body and not just the lungs.

"Asthma is a very widespread disease, and we show for the first time an association between asthma and genotoxicity in peripheral blood," said Robert Schiestl, senior author and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the United States.

This is important because it shows asthma not only damages the lungs but the whole-body, Schiestl added.

Researchers looked for the overexpression of a cytokine called interleukin 13 (IL-13), which is known to mediate inflammation for people with asthma.

According to Schiestl, it appears that IL-13 increases important elements of the inflammatory response, including free radicals.

Free radicals is an atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells.

The team found four different markers of DNA damage and one marker of protein damage in blood cells in the body periphery.

"This could indicate that other organs in asthmatics have a higher risk of developing disease," Schiestl concluded.

The findings were published in the journal Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis.
Agency: IANS

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