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J Lab Clin Med. 1995 Aug;126(2):108-18.

Participation of pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells in lung inflammation.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0360, USA.


As our understanding of pulmonary inflammation improves, the complexity of the mechanisms involved becomes more and more apparent. The number of soluble inflammatory mediators that are being recognized and characterized is increasing rapidly. The major purpose of this review is to emphasize that developing a comprehensive understanding of pulmonary inflammation requires investigations that encompass all of the cellular components. More than just a stage on which inflammatory processes are played out, the alveolar epithelium can participate in virtually all aspects of inflammation, including initiation, amplification, down-regulation, and tissue repair. By directing the powerful tools of cellular and molecular biology to study the entire cast of cellular players, a more complete understanding of inflammation will surely result. Such a comprehensive approach should assist in the development of means to prevent and treat inflammatory lung diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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