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Curr Opin Immunol. 2007 Dec;19(6):676-80. Epub 2007 Aug 27.

Cytokines and growth factors in airway remodeling in asthma.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Airway remodeling in asthma is defined by several structural changes including epithelial cell mucus metaplasia, an increase in peribronchial smooth muscle mass, subepithelial fibrosis, and angiogenesis. Cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors released from inflammatory and structural cells in the airway are considered to play a pivotal role in the development of remodeling. Studies of allergen induced airway remodeling in transgenic mice suggest an important role for TGF-beta, VEGF, Th2 cytokines (IL-5, IL-9, IL-13), and epithelial derived NF-kappaB regulated chemokines in airway remodeling. Although studies of bronchial biopsies from human asthmatics also demonstrate expression of TGF-beta, VEGF, IL-5, IL-9, IL-13, and NF-kappaB regulated chemokines, further human intervention studies are required in which individual cytokines or chemokines are neutralized to define their role in airway remodeling.

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