Washington: Reprogramming asthma-promoting immune cells in mice diminishes airway damage and inflammation, and could potentially lead to new treatments for people with asthma, researchers have discovered.The researchers were able to reprogram the asthma-promoting cells (called Th2 (T-helper 2) cells) after identifying an enzyme that modifies the DNA of these cells.The enzyme could be a target for the development of new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases, in particular allergic asthma, caused by an excess of Th2 cells.Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Rhys Allan led the research while working at Institut Curie, Paris.Dr Allan said that the research team discovered that the enzyme Suv39h1 could switch off genes to control the function of Th2 cells, which are key to the allergic response.“Th2 cells have an important function in the immune response, but they also play a significant role in diseases such as allergic asthma,” Dr Allan said.
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