La contraction du muscle lisse des voies respiratoires dans des conditions simulant les mouvements respiratoires et l'inflammation asthmatique

 

Ynuk Bossé

Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec [IUCPQ]

 

Domaine : santé circulatoire et respiratoire

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2019-2020

Asthma is a lung disorder caused by diverse environmental triggers, such as allergens, viruses, pollutants and cold/dry air. Despite constant research effort, asthma continues to be prevalent in Canada. It touches approximately 8% of the total population. Asthma can be debilitating for many patients and can progress into more severe forms over time. It also represents a serious burden for the society in terms of direct medical costs and indirect costs, such as the loss of productivity at school or at work. Some of the drugs currently used to treat asthma also engender adverse effects. Together, this suggests that there is still plenty of room for improvement of asthma treatments.

Since it is barely impossible to avoid the development of asthma, owing to the panoply of environmental triggers involved, research is dedicated to the relief of symptoms. It is well understood that the contraction of the muscle that surrounds the airways contributes to asthma symptoms. Numerous studies have also demonstrated that the contractile capacity of the muscle can change in response to both the movements of the lungs that occur during breathing and the presence of some molecules that can be found within the lungs. Aberrations in muscle contractility induced either by those molecules or by the failure to respond adequately to lung movements associated with breathing can play important roles in the manifestation of asthma symptoms.

The goal of this research program is to understand the complex mechanisms by which lung movements and certain molecules can affect symptoms elicited by muscle contraction. The hope is to identify key factors responsible for symptoms elicited by muscle contraction, and for which targeting could be beneficial for the treatment of asthma.