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Studying RTD-1 as a Potential ALI Therapy

By Paul Schumacker, PhD, editor, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Follow Dr. Schumacker on Twitter @ATSRedEditor

Rhesus Theta (θ)-Defensin-1 Attenuates Endotoxin-Induced Acute Lung Injury by Inhibiting Proinflammatory Cytokines and Neutrophil Recruitment

Theta defensins are macrocyclic antimicrobial peptides found in the leukocytes of Old World Monkeys, but not in humans. Nonetheless, given their broad spectrum of activity against viruses, bacteria, and fungi, theta defensins might present a potential therapy for acute lung injury. To test that hypothesis, Jordanna G. Jayne and coauthors conducted a series of in vitro and in vivo studies, which they report on in the March American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. The researchers found that “RTD-1 is efficacious in an experimental model of ALI through inhibition of neutrophil chemotaxis and adhesion, and the attenuation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and gene expression from alveolar macrophages.”

The authors write that their findings suggest several avenues for further study: 1) studies should be conducted in murine models other than the lipopolysaccharide- induced one they used, 2) RTS-1’s effect on specific adhesion molecules and cytoskeleton components should be evaluated to understand its mechanism better, and 3) drug formulation conducted to optimize treatment effects.

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