A new look at the pathogenesis of asthma


Holgate, Stephen T., Arshad, Hasan S., Roberts, Graham C., Howarth, Peter H., Thurner, Philipp J. and Davies, Donna E. (2009) A new look at the pathogenesis of asthma. Clinical Science, 118, (7), 439-450. (doi:10.1042/CS20090474). (PMID:20025610).

Download

[img] PDF - Publishers print
Download (672Kb)

Description/Abstract

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the conducting airways that has strong association with allergic sensitization. The disease is characterized by a polarized Th-2 (T-helper-2)-type T-cell response, but in general targeting this component of the disease with selective therapies has been disappointing and most therapy still relies on bronchodilators and corticosteroids rather than treating underlying disease mechanisms. With the disappointing outcomes of targeting individual Th-2 cytokines or manipulating T-cells, the time has come to re-evaluate the direction of research in this disease. A case is made that asthma has its origins in the airways themselves involving defective structural and functional behaviour of the epithelium in relation to environmental insults. Specifically, a defect in barrier function and an impaired innate immune response to viral infection may provide the substrate upon which allergic sensitization takes place. Once sensitized, the repeated allergen exposure will lead to disease persistence. These mechanisms could also be used to explain airway wall remodelling and the susceptibility of the asthmatic lung to exacerbations provoked by respiratory viruses, air pollution episodes and exposure to biologically active allergens. Variable activation of this epithelial-mesenchymal trophic unit could also lead to the emergence of different asthma phenotypes and a more targeted approach to the treatment of these. It also raises the possibility of developing treatments that increase the lung's resistance to the inhaled environment rather than concentrating all efforts on trying to suppress inflammation once it has become established.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0143-5221 (print)
1470-8736 (electronic)
Keywords: allergen, asthma, inflammation, remodelling, t-cell, virus infection
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > RB Pathology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Bioengineering Sciences
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 79686
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:01
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/79686

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics