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Respiratory epithelial imbalances in asthma pathophysiology

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The pathophysiology of asthma is complex and involves a number of factors including atopy and bronchial hyperreactivity. A strong body of evidence suggests that structural and functional respiratory epithelial alterations play a crucial role in both development and persistence of this condition. From the onset of symptoms the airways epithelium of asthmatic patients seems to be altered and unable to repair. The interactions between the epithelium and the underlying mesenchyma, which are jointly referred to as the epithelial‐mesenchymal trophic unit (EMTU), are thought to result in a self-sustaining damage of the airways and, ultimately, in a chronic inflammatory scenario. A better understanding of the relationship occurring across EMTU, environmental noxae, and factors of susceptibility to epithelial damage is likely to pave the way to future new preventive and therapeutic strategies for this condition.
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Keywords: Airway microbiota; asthma pathophysiology; cytokines; epithelial alterations; epithelial‐mesenchymal trophic unit (EMTU); innate immunity; repair mechanisms; tight junctions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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