Back to Journals » Clinical Epidemiology » Volume 7

Clinical features, epidemiology, and therapy of lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Authors Taveira-DaSilva AM, Moss J

Received 12 July 2014

Accepted for publication 10 September 2014

Published 7 April 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 249—257

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S50780

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen


Angelo M Taveira-DaSilva, Joel Moss

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Abstract: Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a multisystem disease of women, characterized by proliferation of abnormal smooth muscle-like LAM cells, leading to the formation of lung cysts, fluid-filled cystic structures in the axial lymphatics (eg, lymphangioleiomyomas), and renal angiomyolipomas. LAM is caused by mutations of the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, which encode, respectively, hamartin and tuberin, two proteins with a major role in control of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. LAM occurs sporadically or in association with tuberous sclerosis complex, an autosomal-dominant syndrome characterized by widespread hamartomatous lesions. LAM may present with progressive dyspnea, recurrent pneumothorax, or chylothorax. Pulmonary function tests show reduced flow rates (forced expiratory volume in the first second) and diffusion capacity. Exercise testing may reveal gas exchange abnormalities, ventilatory limitation, and hypoxemia. The severity and progression of disease may be assessed by lung histology scores, quantification of computed tomography, pulmonary function testing, 6-minute walk tests, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, and measurement of serum vascular endothelial growth factor D levels. Sirolimus and everolimus, two mTOR inhibitors, are effective in stabilizing lung function and reducing the size of chylous effusions, lymphangioleiomyomas, and angiomyolipomas. However, inhibition of mTOR complex 1 increases autophagy, possibly enhancing LAM cell survival. Inhibition of autophagy with hydroxychloroquine, in combination with sirolimus, has been proposed as a possible treatment for LAM. Deficiency of tuberin results in increased RhoA GTPase activity and cell survival, an effect that is mediated through mTOR complex 2 signaling. Because sirolimus and everolimus only affect the activity of mTOR complex 1, therapies targeting RhoA GTPases with simvastatin, which inhibits Rho GTPases and promotes apoptosis, are being investigated. As in the case of cancer, LAM may be best treated with multiple drugs targeting signaling pathways considered important in the pathogenesis of disease. 
 
Keywords: lymphangioleiomyomatosis, tuberous sclerosis, TSC1 and TSC2 mutations, mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]