Summary of The Balance Between Immunity and Inflammation

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The Balance Between Immunity and Inflammation summary
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Do you know someone who suffers from asthma? Or perhaps you have experienced the feeling of dread as your lungs work fruitlessly to inhale a fresh gulp of air. New research reports on the asthmatic response to allergens at the cellular level and examines the lungs’ delicate balance between inflammation and immunity. The authors, Darin L. Wiesner and Bruce S. Klein, are leading researchers in the field of immunology. getAbstract recommends their report to those who would like to learn about exciting new targets for future asthma medications.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the lungs’ effort to balance immune responses and inflammation resemble a “Goldilocks” problem;
  • How obesity relates to asthma; and
  • What promising advances are ahead in the treatment of asthma.
 

About the Authors

Darin L. Wiesner, PhD is a postdoc researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where Bruce S. Klein, MD is a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Klein received the MERIT award, which provides 10 years of funding to the most productive NIH funded investigators. He’s been consecutively ranked as one of the Best Doctors® in America.

 

Summary

An asthma attack results from an imbalance of immune responses in the lungs.

With every breath, a multitude of foreign invaders inundates the lungs. The body’s immune system fights against these toxins, pathogens and other invaders. The lungs must rapidly respond to invasion to maintain biological balance. The immune system protects the host using both physical barriers (such as mucus) and chemical responses (such as inflammation). This balance is not easy to maintain, a problem researchers call the “Goldilocks” dilemma [after a little girl in a children’s story for whom everything was either too big or too small]. The body needs enough inflammation to prevent infection from foreign invaders, but too much inflammation can disrupt the alveoli’s ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. An asthma attack happens when this balance tips too far in the direction of inflammation.


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