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MINERVA PNEUMOLOGICA

A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
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Minerva Pneumologica 2010 June;49(2)219-36

language: English

The extracellular matrix: friend or foe in airway disease?

Burgess J. K.

Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Discipline of Pharmacology, University of Sydney and The Cooperative Research Centre for Asthma and Airways, Sydney, Australia


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Airway remodelling includes thickening of the basement membrane and alterations in the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition. These changes play a key role in the pathogenesis of a number of pulmonary fibrotic diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Insight into the mechanisms underlying the alterations in ECM in the different pathologies may be gained by comparing the profiles of the changes in the different diseases and understanding the functional outcomes resulting from these changes. Whereas current pulmonary treatment regimens are partially effective in preventing or reversing ECM changes there is an obvious need for development of the next generation of therapeutics targeting the ECM.

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