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Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2000 Aug;55(4):317-23.

Airway fibrosis in asthma: mechanisms, consequences, and potential for therapeutic intervention.

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Dept. of Respiratory Medicine, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.


A distinctive feature of asthma is the presence of a fibrotic response characterized by excess extracellular matrix deposition and proliferation of myofibroblasts, in the airway wall. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of this phenomenon at the pathological and molecular levels, and its likely importance in the pathophysiology and symptomatology of the disease. Particular interest has centered on the potent fibrogenic molecule, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and the evidence to link this molecule to airway fibrosis is discussed. Finally, the ability of existing anti-asthma treatments to influence the fibrotic response and the need to develop novel therapeutic strategies are considered.

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