Research ArticleAsthma

Calcium-sensing receptor antagonists abrogate airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in allergic asthma

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Science Translational Medicine  22 Apr 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 284, pp. 284ra60
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa0282

Calcilytics may help asthmatics breathe easier

Calcium may help to build strong bones. However, Yarova et al. now show that extracellular calcium may contribute to inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in allergic asthma. They show that elevated extracellular calcium can activate airway smooth muscle cells through the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR). Asthmatic patients express higher levels of CaSR in their airways than do healthy individuals, as does a mouse model of allergic asthma. Indeed, extracellular calcium and other asthma-associated activators of CaSR increased airway hyperreactivity. What’s more, calcilytics—CaSR antagonists—can prevent these effects both in vitro and in vivo, supporting clinical testing of these drugs for asthmatics.

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