Inhibiting necroptosis, a type of inflammatory cell death, may be an effective new way to treat COPD, a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine suggests.

Apoptosis is a well-known, tightly controlled pathway to cell death that is triggered by quality control processes within the body. In contrast, necrosis is a type of cell death triggered by external variables and is less well controlled. Although necroptosis represents a regulated type of necrosis, it has been shown to increase the risk of inflammation in the body’s tissues.

In this study, a team of researchers from Australia and Belgium examined the role of necroptosis in patients with COPD and in healthy control group participants. The investigators measured total and active (phosphorylated) RIPK3 and MLKL in lung tissue samples taken from each participant. Lung samples were obtained from a biobank at a single university hospital.

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