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    ABSTRACT: Cough is a protective reflex and defence mechanism in healthy individuals, which helps clear excessive secretions and foreign material from the lungs. Cough often presents as the first and most persistent symptom of many respiratory diseases and some non-respiratory disorders, but can also be idiopathic, and is a common respiratory complaint for which medical attention is sought. Chronic cough of various aetiologies is a regular presentation to specialist respiratory clinics, and is reported as a troublesome symptom by a significant proportion of the population. Despite this, the treatment options for cough are limited. The lack of effective anti-tussives likely stems from our incomplete understanding of how the tussive reflex is mediated. However, research over the last decade has begun to shed some light on the mechanisms which provoke cough, and may ultimately provide us with better anti-tussive therapies. This review will focus on the in vitro and in vivo models that are currently used to further our understanding of the sensory innervation of the respiratory tract, and how these nerves are involved in controlling the cough response. Central to this are the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channels, a family of polymodal receptors that can be activated by such diverse stimuli as chemicals, temperature, osmotic stress, and mechanical perturbation. These ion channels are thought to be molecular pain integrators and targets for novel analgesic agents for the treatment of various pain disorders but some are also being developed as anti-tussives.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, which is most commonly associated with smoking or exposure to environmental pollutants. Unfortunately, there is an inadequate understanding of the molecular and physiological determinants governing one's susceptibility for developing COPD. Here, we describe a novel hypothesis: Individuals with intrinsically low aerobic exercise capacity are more likely to develop COPD after exposure to key risk factors. The hypothesis is based on observations that aerobic exercise capacity is tightly associated with mortality across many complex diseases. The premise is supported by recent studies demonstrating that smokers who exercise regularly are less likely to develop or be hospitalized for COPD. Herein, we describe the evolutionary and molecular basis for this hypothesis and how it is a natural extension of previous theories explaining COPD susceptibility.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the role of the EP2 receptor has been hampered by the lack of a selective antagonist. Recently, a selective EP2 receptor antagonist, PF-04418948, has been discovered. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the selectivity profile of PF-04418948 for the EP2 receptor over other EP receptors using a range of isolated tissue systems. PF-04418948 was profiled on a range of isolated tissues to assess its EP receptor potency and selectivity: ONO-DI-004-induced contraction of guinea pig trachea (EP1); ONO-AE1-259 and PGE2- induced relaxation of mouse and guinea pig trachea (EP2); PGE2-induced depolarization of guinea pig isolated vagus (EP3); PGE2-induced relaxation of human and rat trachea (EP4). PF-04418948 was also profiled in functional murine TP, IP, DP and FP receptor assays. In bioassay systems, where assessment of potency/selectivity is made against the ‘native’ receptor, PF-04418948 only acted as an antagonist of EP2 receptor-mediated events. PF-04418948 competitively inhibited relaxations of murine and guinea pig trachea induced by ONO-AE1-259 and PGE2 respectively. However, the affinity of PF-04418948 was not equal in the two preparations. Using a wide range of bioassay systems, we have demonstrated that PF-04418948 is a selective EP2-receptor antagonist. Interestingly, an atypically low affinity was found on the guinea pig trachea, questioning its utility as an EP2 receptor assay system. Nevertheless, this compound should be an invaluable tool for investigating the biological activity of PGE2 and the role of EP2 receptors in health and disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · British Journal of Pharmacology
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