La contraction des bronches humaines dans des conditions simulant les mouvements respiratoires et l'inflammation asthmatique

 

Ynuk Bossé

Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec

 

Domaine : santé circulatoire et respiratoire

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2015-2016

Asthma is a lung disorder caused by diverse environmental triggers, such as allergens, viruses, pollutants and cold and 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, as well as of 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. Alterations 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 project is to understand the complex mechanisms by which these lung movements and these molecules can affect muscle contractility. The hope is to identify the key pathways responsible for increasing muscle contractility, and for which targeting will be salutary for the treatment of asthma.