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Airway smooth muscle excitation-contraction coupling and airway hyperresponsiveness

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The primary complaints from patients with asthma pertain to function of airway smooth muscle (ASM) function including shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Thus, it is imperative to better understand the mechanisms underlying excitation-contraction coupling in ASM. Here, we review the various signaling pathways underlying contraction in ASM, and then examine how these are altered in asthma and airway hyperresponsiveness (a hallmark feature of asthma). Throughout, we highlight how studies of vascular smooth muscle have helped or hindered progress in understanding ASM physiology and pathophysiology.Key words: airway smooth muscle, vascular smooth muscle, excitation-contraction coupling, calcium, Rho-kinase.

Les principales plaintes des asthmatiques sont relatives à la fonction du muscle lisse des voies aériennes (MLVA), l'essoufflement, la respiration sifflante et la toux. Il nous incombe donc de mieux comprendre les mécanismes à la base du couplage excitation-contraction dans le MLVA. Dans cette synthèse, nous passons en revue les diverses voies de signalisation qui sous-tendent la contraction dans le MLVA et nous examinons comment elles sont modifiées par l'asthme et l'hyperréactivité des voies aériennes (un symptôme caractéristique de l'asthme). Nous soulignons comment les études du muscle lisse vasculaire ont aidé, ou gêné, l'évolution de la compréhension de la physiologie et de la pathophysiologie du MLVA.Mots clés : muscle lisse des voies aériennes, muscle lisse vasculaire, couplage excitation-contraction, calcium, Rho-kinase.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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