Over the last few years, scientists have discovered connections between gut microbiota imbalances and various diseases. Now, in a study using mice, researchers have revealed a surprising relationship between a viral detection system, the composition of the gut microbiota, and the development of skin allergies. Their findings suggest potential new therapies.
Researchers revealed that the immune cells basophils caused emphysema in mice with COPD-like features induced by intranasal administration of elastase. They showed that basophils, previously linked mainly to allergies and fighting parasites, initiated a cascade of reactions eventually leading to the release of excess MMP-12 and the destruction of alveolar walls. The team hopes that the findings will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of COPD.