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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2013 Feb;13(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/s11882-012-0317-9.

Vascular endothelial growth factor as a key inducer of angiogenesis in the asthmatic airways.

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Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Christine K├╝hne Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), Davos, Switzerland.


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by structural airway changes, which are known as airway remodeling, including smooth muscle hypertrophy, goblet cell hyperplasia, subepithelial fibrosis, and angiogenesis. Vascular remodeling in asthmatic lungs results from increased angiogenesis, which is mainly mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a key regulator of blood vessel growth in the airways of asthma patients by promoting proliferation and differentiation of endothelial cells and inducing vascular leakage and permeability. In addition, VEGF induces allergic inflammation, enhances allergic sensitization, and has a role in Th2 type inflammatory responses. Specific inhibitors of VEGF and blockers of its receptors might be useful to control chronic airway inflammation and vascular remodeling, and might be a new therapeutic approach for chronic inflammatory airway disease like asthma.

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