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Journal of Lipids
Volume 2011, Article ID 674968, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/674968
Review Article

Ceramide in Cystic Fibrosis: A Potential New Target for Therapeutic Intervention

1Human Genetics, McGill University Health Center Research Institute, 1650 Cedar Avenue L11-218, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1A4
2Institute of Immunology, Central University of Venezuela, Apartado Postale 50109, Caracas 1050A, Venezuela
3Departments of Medicine and Human Genetics, McGill University Health Center Research Institute, 1650 Cedar Avenue L11-218, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1A4

Received 28 July 2010; Revised 4 October 2010; Accepted 11 November 2010

Academic Editor: Xianlin Han

Copyright © 2011 Gabriella Wojewodka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are afflicted with many symptoms but the greatest challenge is the fight against chronic bacterial infections, leading to decreased lung function and ultimately death. Our group has recently found reduced levels of ceramides in CF patients and mice. Ceramides are sphingolipids involved in the structure of cell membranes but also participate in the inflammatory response, in cell signalling through membrane microdomains (lipid rafts), and in apoptosis. These characteristics of ceramides make them strong candidates for therapeutic intervention in CF. As more studies have come to evaluate the role of ceramide in CF, conflicting results have been described. This paper discusses various views regarding the potential role of ceramide in CF, summarizes methods of ceramide detection and their role in the regulation of cellular and molecular processes.