Investigating the cause of a deadly lung condition
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare, progressive and incurable
condition – people with it have a significantly reduced quality of
life and can develop heart failure.
New treatments for pulmonary hypertension are vital so we’re
funding research in Scotland looking at its causes.
People with pulmonary hypertension suffer from
a narrowing of the arteries in the lungs that causes high blood
pressure. Their heart then has to work much harder to pump against
the high blood pressure in the lungs, which can eventually cause
How your donations help
Thanks to generous donations of time and money
from the UK public, we’re funding a £180,000
project that will shed new light on how pulmonary
hypertension develops. The team, a collaboration between the
University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow, is focused
on one particular protein – sphingosine kinase 1 (SPK1).
SPK1 appears to make the symptoms of pulmonary
hypertension worse by thickening the walls of blood
vessels, constricting blood flow and therefore further
increasing the blood pressure in the lungs. The protein seems to do
this by promoting the growth of new cells in the vessel wall but
it’s not yet clear exactly how it works.
Professors Nigel and Susan Pyne from
Strathclyde and Dr Simon Kennedy from Glasgow are using mice to
improve our understanding of SPK1’s role in pulmonary hypertension.
It’s hoped this information will help scientists to develop new
medical therapies to treat this condition in the future.