Study May Lead to New CF Therapies

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 18 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve discovered additional evidence that increases in protease activity might be central to the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis.

University of Alabama in Birmingham researchers said they measured a common protease called MMP-9 in cystic fibrosis patients whose condition was stable and compared it with healthy volunteers. Previous studies have shown increases in MMP-9 in cystic fibrosis patients in the throes of an acute pulmonary episode.

In the latest study, the scientists found MMP-9 levels were also higher than normal in cystic fibrosis patients with no active airway inflammation. The researchers said the finding might point the way to new therapeutic agents that work to reduce pathological changes.

The study is reported in the journal Molecular Medicine.

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