Pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory functions of airway smooth muscle: Emerging concepts

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Journal Article
Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2013, 26 (1), pp. 64 - 74
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Airway smooth muscle (ASM) is the main regulator of bronchomotor tone. Extensive studies show that in addition to their physical property, human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells can participate in inflammatory processes modulating the initiation, perpetuation, amplification, and perhaps resolution of airway inflammation. Upon stimulation or interaction with immune cells, ASM cells produce and secrete a variety of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, cell adhesion molecules, and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. These released mediators can, in turn, contribute to the inflammatory state, airway hyperresponsiveness, and airway remodeling present in asthma. As our knowledge of ASM myocyte biology improves, novel bioactive factors are emerging as potentially important regulators of inflammation. This review provides an overview of our understanding of some of these molecules, identifies rising questions, and proposes future studies to better define their role in ASM cell modulation of inflammation and immunity in the lung and respiratory diseases. © 2012.
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