The role of the bronchial microvasculature in the airway remodelling in asthma and COPD

Andrea Zanini, Alfredo Chetta, Andrea S. Imperatori, Antonio Spanevello, Dario Olivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In recent years, there has been increased interest in the vascular component of airway remodelling in chronic bronchial inflammation, such as asthma and COPD, and in its role in the progression of disease. In particular, the bronchial mucosa in asthmatics is more vascularised, showing a higher number and dimension of vessels and vascular area. Recently, insight has been obtained regarding the pivotal role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in promoting vascular remodelling and angiogenesis. Many studies, conducted on biopsies, induced sputum or BAL, have shown the involvement of VEGF and its receptors in the vascular remodelling processes. Presumably, the vascular component of airway remodelling is a complex multi-step phenomenon involving several mediators. Among the common asthma and COPD medications, only inhaled corticosteroids have demonstrated a real ability to reverse all aspects of vascular remodelling. The aim of this review was to analyze the morphological aspects of the vascular component of airway remodelling and the possible mechanisms involved in asthma and COPD. We also focused on the functional and therapeutic implications of the bronchial microvascular changes in asthma and COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
JournalRespiratory Research
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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