Researchers have identified a signaling pathway essential to the immune response of cells linked to the initiation of allergic asthma.

┬áSpecifically, the scientists demonstrated that T helper 2 (Th2) type inflammation in allergic asthma involves dendritic cells (DC), a type of white blood cell, which trigger a reduction in the production of cyclic AMP or cAMP, a key messenger molecule for signaling inside cells. In mouse models, deletion of the gene that codes for a protein that promotes the production of cAMP resulted in spontaneous bronchial asthma, which shares many similarities with human asthma. Conversely, increasing cAMP levels inhibited the cells’ inflammatory response that results in asthma’s characteristic symptoms.

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