Price for publication in pulmonary fibrosis

Can extracellular vesicles transmit signaling mediators and prevent scarring of the lung?
Extracellular vesicles (microscopic image)

Extracellular vesicles (microscopic image) © Helmholtz Zentrum München

The award for the best basic scientific publication 2019 from the DPLD disease area goes to a team from the Lung Repair and Regeneration Department (LRR) at the DZL Munich site (CPC-M). Independent reviewers have opted for this publication at the 2019 DPLD Annual Meeting.

A team of scientists around Prof. Dr. med. Dr. Melanie Königshoff (Helmholtz Zentrum München and Denver University) investigated the role of the signaling mediator WNT-5A in disease progression in the lethal disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). They discovered that in IPF patients, WNT-5A is increasingly carried to the lung cells by extracellular vesicles, where it causes increased scarring.

Does a reduction of the vesicles lead to a reduced scarring of the tissue? Can they be used as Biomarkers to determine the degree of disease in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? Is it possible to change the content of the vesicles in a way that they carry mediators for a therapeutic effect?

The team now wants to investigate these hypotheses in further preclinical studies.

Link to the publication:
A. Martin-Medina et al, Am J Respir Crit Care Med., 2018:
Increased Extracellular Vesicles Mediate WNT-5A Signaling in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.