Study Reveals Biological Process that Helps Underdeveloped Lungs Fight Infections

Research By Hitesh Deshmukh, MD, PhD

Post Date: February 18, 2020 | Publish Date: Feb. 18, 2020

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Hitesh Deshmukh, MD, PhD

Cincinnati Children’s researchers report in Immunity the discovery of a complex biological process that in premature lungs stimulates production of Type 3 innate lymphoid cells in alveoli.

Born without these lymphoid cells, premature infants’ lungs cannot mount an effective immune defense against microbial infections. This opens the door to bacterial pneumonia and other severe respiratory illnesses, according study authors at our Perinatal Institute.

“This study gives us important new information that helps us develop new and cost effective methods to boost innate lung immunity in preterm babies. This could help them develop lifelong pulmonary resistance to respiratory infections,’’ said Hitesh Deshmukh, MD, PhD, senior study author and a Cincinnati Children’s neonatologist.

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This image from a study in the journal Immunity shows fluoresced cells in the developing perinatal lung of baby mouse as it forms air sacs called alveolar. The areas highlighted by dotted circles show the molecular components that form Type 3 innate lymphoid cells, which help lungs development a durable immune defense against microbial infections. Not shown is a companion comparison image that shows dysfunctional development in the lung of a premature baby mouse. The illustrations at left diagram normal and premature development of air sacs.

“This study gives us important new information that helps us develop new and cost effective methods to boost innate lung immunity in preterm babies. This could help them develop lifelong pulmonary resistance to respiratory infections,’’ said Hitesh Deshmukh, MD, PhD, senior study author and a Cincinnati Children’s neonatologist.

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Publication Information

Original Title:Insulin like growth factor 1 supports a pulmonary niche that promotes type 3 innate lymphoid cell development in newborn lungs
Published in:Immunity
Publish date:Feb. 18, 2020

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About this blog

The Research Horizons blog features news and insights about the latest discoveries and innovations developed by the scientists of Cincinnati Children's. This blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.