Article Title

Vascular remodelling in asthma


Purpose of review: We review the recent literature, focusing on 2006 and 2007, to produce an update on the patho-biology of angiogenesis and vascular endothelial growth factor in the asthmatic airway.

Recent findings: In terms of conceptual development in asthma research, airway inflammation and remodelling have been regarded as separate processes or perhaps as sequential, with early inflammation leading later to remodelling. Recent insights identify a central role for vascular endothelial growth factor in stimulating both inflammation and vascular remodelling coincidentally, with the full panoply of vascular endothelial growth factor mediated events being complex and wide. Both nitric oxide and matrix metalloproteinase-9 induction may be important downstream pathogenic mechanisms. Virus-mediated exacerbations are a prime manifestation of the oscillating trajectory of clinical asthma. The early stimulation of vascular endothelial growth factor production is probably a central aetiological mechanism, with secondary inflammation and angiogenesis. The time scale of the latter, especially, fits with the time scale of clinico-physiological changes after exacerbation. These vascular endothelial growth factor induced changes are potentially modifiable with therapy.

Summary: Insights into the importance of vascular endothelial growth factor and angiogenesis in asthma pathogenesis now lead to potential new therapeutic possibilities and elucidate why recent advances in asthma therapeutics have been so successful.




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