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Eur Respir J. 1998 Apr;11(4):958-70.

Plasma-derived proteins in airway defence, disease and repair of epithelial injury.

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Dept of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital of Lund, Sweden.


One significant characteristic of the airway mucosa in vivo, that cannot easily be mimicked in vitro, is its microcirculation, which generates a highly dynamic, biologically active milieu of plasma-derived molecules that may pass to the airway lumen in vivo. New data on the mechanisms of airway mucosal exudation indicate that the protein systems of circulating plasma may contribute significantly to the biology and immunology of the lamina propria, its surface epithelium and the luminal surface, not only in injured airways, but also in airways that are activated but display no sign of oedema, epithelial disruption, or increased absorption capacity. We suggest that present knowledge of the mechanisms of plasma exudation, together with rapidly emerging information (not detailed herein) on receptors, target cells and cellular responses to the plasma-derived molecules, must be considered in any realistic model that investigates "immuno-inflammatory" mechanisms of the airway mucosa.

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