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Airway modeling and remodeling in the pathogenesis of asthma

Warner, Stephanie M; Knight, Darryl A

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: February 2008 - Volume 8 - Issue 1 - p 44–48
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3282f3b5cb
Mechanisms of allergy and adult asthma: Edited by Stephen T. Holgate and J. Andrew Grant

Purpose of review Asthma remains a severe health problem since current therapies are directed to suppressing, rather than preventing or reversing, the primary disease process. Clearly, a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of asthma is critical to the development of better therapeutic modalities. In this review, we discuss the recent advancements in research targeting the role of airway remodeling in asthma.

Recent findings Epithelial fragility and abnormalities are being recognized as important facets of asthma, as are other features of remodeling such as angiogenesis, goblet cell hyperplasia and thickened lamina reticularis. Significantly, these anomalies occur early in disease pathogenesis. However, their impact on disease severity remains unclear.

Summary Although an altered immune response is undoubtedly important to the pathogenesis of asthma, there is increasing evidence that the tissue-specific manifestations occur independently of inflammation and significantly impact on disease development and severity.

aJames Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, Faculty of Medicine, St. Paul's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

bDepartment of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Correspondence to Darryl A. Knight, James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, Rm 166, St Paul's Hospital, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, Canada, V6Z 1Y6 Tel: +1 604 6822344; e-mail:

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