Key points from article :
New study shows gene therapy halts age-related pulmonary fibrosis (PF).
Team first showed that ageing led to telomere shortening.
And reduced the proliferation ability of alveolar type 2 and club cells.
These two types of cells are important for lung regeneration.
Very clear relation observed between telomere status in type II pneumocytes.
Also in pulmonary surfactant production and fibrosis development in animals.
Pulmonary surfactant plays an important role in lubricating lung tissue, retaining its elasticity.
Treatment with telomerase gene therapy partially restored the surfactant protein’s activity.
Mice treated also showed a reduction in pro-inflammatory factors.
It may be possible to devise a treatment preventing development of PF associated with ageing.
Researchers from CNIO, Complutense University, and Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Published in Journal of Cell Biology.