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Respiratory Research

, 3:11

First Online: 28 November 2001Received: 26 March 2001Revised: 18 October 2001Accepted: 23 October 2001


Chronic airway inflammation is one of the main features of asthma. Release of mediators from infiltrating inflammatory cells in the airway mucosa has been proposed to contribute directly or indirectly to changes in airway structure and function. The airway smooth muscle, which has been regarded as a contractile component of the airways responding to various mediators and neurotransmitters, has recently been recognised as a rich source of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. In this review, we discuss the role of airway smooth muscle cells in the regulation and perpetuation of airway inflammation that contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma.

Keywordsairway smooth muscle chemokine cytokine growth factor inflammation AbbreviationsASMairway smooth muscle

BALbronchoalveolar lavage


ECMextracellular matrix

FGFfibroblast growth factor

GM-CSFgranulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor


IGFinsulin-like growth factor


LIFleukaemia inhibitory factor



MCPmonocyte chemotactic protein

MHCmajor histocompatibility complex

NOnitric oxide

PDGFplatelet-derived growth factor


RANTES = regulated on activationnormal T cell expressed and secreted

TGFtransforming growth factor

ThT helper cells

TNF-αtumour necrosis factor-α


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Autor: Sue McKay - Hari S Sharma


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