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WHAT WE FUND

Asthma

Respiratory diseases

At a glance

Development of a novel ex vivo “breathing” lung slice model to investigate the dynamic relationship between tidal ventilation, deep inspiration and the development of airway remodelling

Lead researcher

Dr Amanda Tatler

Institution

University of Nottingham

Status

Amount awarded

£132,927

Last updated

05/02/18

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It is important to understand how structural changes in the lungs of people with asthma can reduce lung function over time. Closure of the airways during an asthma attack can play an important role in the development of these structural changes and this may be caused by the activation of a protein called TGFβ. This research will investigate the complex relationship between normal breathing, airway closure and activation of TGFβ.

Dr Tatler will develop a new model that mimics normal breathing and deep breaths and which closely represents the living, breathing lung.

The key features of asthma are on-going inflammation in the lung, episodes of chest tightening and difficulty breathing; structural changes in the lungs of people with asthma can reduce lung function over time. These changes are worse in the lungs of severe asthmatics. 

It is important to understand how these changes occur and investigate new ways of reducing or reversing them. Closure of the airways during an asthma attack can play an important role in the development of these structural changes and this may be caused by the activation of a protein called TGFβ. 

Dr Amanda Tatler from the University of Nottingham was awarded a Medical Research Foundation-Asthma UK fellowship to investigate the complex relationship between normal breathing, airway closure and activation of TGFβ. In order to do so, Dr Tatler will develop a new model that mimics normal breathing and deep breaths and which closely represents the living, breathing lung. She will use this to investigate the effects of breathing on the activation of TGFβ in order to improve understanding of normal lung biology and its impact on structural change in the lungs of asthmatics. 

Not only will Amanda’s model support her own asthma research, she will make it available to the wider research community and its uptake will reduce the numbers of animals required to make progress with research on lung diseases.

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Respiratory Diseases – Asthma

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