Unraveling the role of neutrophils in pollutant-aggravated asthma

01 January 2019 → 31 December 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Respiratory medicine
    • Inflammation
    • Respiratory medicine
Project description

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and variable airflow obstruction. Asthma affects around 300 million individuals worldwide and has a significant economic burden of estimated 72 billion euro each year. The development of asthma is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. Exposure to air pollution has been associated with the onset of asthma symptoms and severity of asthma. Exposure to air pollution is often associated with the presence of neutrophils in the airways, but whether these cells are drivers in the disease process requires further investigation. In this project we will focus on the role of neutrophils in pollutant-aggravated asthma and investigate if they could be a therapeutic target. To investigate this we will use a translational approach, in which we will combine in vitro experiments with human bronchial epithelial cells, an in vivo murine model for mechanistic studies and finally induced sputum samples from patients with asthma.