What is it about?

Here we review asthmatic airway remodeling, focusing on airway epithelium, which is critical to maintaining a healthy respiratory system, and is the primary defense against inhaled irritants. In asthma, airway epithelium is both a mediator and target of inflammation, manifesting remodeling and resulting obstruction among its downstream effects. We also highlight the potential benefits of therapeutically targeting airway structural alterations.

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Why is it important?

An emerging concept now holds that airway remodeling, another major pathological feature of asthma, is as important as inflammation in asthma pathogenesis. Structural changes associated with asthma include disrupted epithelial integrity, subepithelial fibrosis, goblet cell hyperplasia/metaplasia, smooth muscle hypertrophy/hyperplasia, and enhanced vascularity. These alterations are hypothesized to contribute to airway hyperresponsiveness, airway obstruction, airflow limitation, and progressive decline of lung function in asthmatic individuals. Consequently, targeting inflammation alone does not suffice to provide optimal clinical benefits.


Since pathological tissue remodeling is likewise observed in other injury- and inflammation-prone tissues and organs, our discussion may have implications beyond asthma and lung disease.

Aravind Reddy Tarugu
University of Pittsburgh

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Bidirectional interaction of airway epithelial remodeling and inflammation in asthma, Clinical Science, May 2020, Portland Press Ltd.,
DOI: 10.1042/cs20191309.
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