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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
Mast Cells Have Critical Role in Initializing Pulmonary Fibrosis

DNA and Cell BiologyNew Rochelle, NY, April 11, 2013—Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic, deadly disease that affects five million people worldwide. It is irreversible, its cause is poorly understood, and it has a median survival of only about 3 years. A new study that implicates mast cells—an immune cell involved in allergic asthma—in the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis could lead to new, more effective therapies. The study is published in DNA and Cell Biology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the DNA and Cell Biology website.

In the article “Mast Cells: A Pivotal Role in Pulmonary Fibrosis,” A. Veerappan and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, showed that in mice unable to produce mast cells, a chemical trigger known to cause pulmonary fibrosis does not result in disease. However, when the researchers introduced mast cells into the lungs of these mice, disease protection was reversed and the mice developed pulmonary fibrosis. The authors identify a role for two key compounds produced by mast cells—histamine and renin—and propose that they promote fibrogenesis when mast cells are activated early in the course of the disease.

Editor-in-Chief Carol Shoshkes Reiss, PhD, Departments of Biology and Neural Science, New York University, NY says, "Randi Silver’s lab has shown, in this compelling paper, that mast cells contribute to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. These observations are important and may lead to the development of new therapeutic modalities to prevent deterioration of lung function.”


About the Journal
DNA and Cell Biology is the trusted source for authoritative, peer-reviewed reporting on the latest research in the field of molecular biology. By combining mechanistic and clinical studies from multiple systems in a single journal, DNA and Cell Biology facilitates communication among biological sub-disciplines. Coverage includes gene structure, function, and regulation; molecular medicine; cellular organelles; protein biosynthesis and degradation; and cell-autonomous inflammation and host cell response to infection. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the DNA and Cell Biology website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Human Gene Therapy, Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, and AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s more than 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.