Looks like you’re on the UK site. Choose another location to see content specific to your location

Home Industry News Asthma-obesity link evidence found

Asthma-obesity link evidence found

17th July 2007

Scientists claim to have found evidence that could explain the suspected link between asthma and obesity.

Studies during the last decade have suggested that increases in childhood asthma could be due to the rise in the number of obese children.

Researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Asthma UK Centre have found for the first time a protein that is known to increase appetite in cells which are closely associated with asthma.

Th2 cells are specialised cells of the immune system which create inflammation in the lungs and contribute to the development of asthma.

Writing online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, the scientists claim that as well as producing proteins which cause asthma, the Th2 cells also produce a protein encoded by a gene (pro-melanin-concentrating hormone ? PMCH) which is known to increase appetite.

According to their findings, the protein released into the circulation by Th2 cells in the asthmatic lung could trigger the hypothalamus in the brain to enhance appetite.

Lead researcher, Dr David Cousins of King’s College London, said: “Our study provides evidence for a possible mechanism linking obesity and asthma.

“However, as people with asthma aren’t always obese, we now plan to look at possible genetic polymorphisms, or variations, of PMCH to see the role they play.”

Commenting on the findings, Jenny Versnel, executive director of research and policy at the charity Asthma UK, said: “We know that people who are obese often find it harder to manage their asthma symptoms and may even respond less well to their asthma treatments.”

We currently have 7 jobs available in Pharmacy industry, find your perfect one now.

Stay informed

Receive the latest industry news, Tips
and straight to your inbox.