Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2012, Article ID 316049, 12 pages
Review Article

Mechanisms of Remodeling in Asthmatic Airways

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Received 9 June 2011; Revised 7 September 2011; Accepted 10 October 2011

Academic Editor: Teal S. Hallstrand

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Shifren et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disorder characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and reversible airflow obstruction. Subgroups of asthma patients develop airflow obstruction that is irreversible or only partially reversible and experience an accelerated rate of lung function decline. The structural changes in the airways of these patients are referred to as airway remodeling. All elements of the airway wall are involved, and remodeled airway wall thickness is substantially increased compared to normal control airways. Airway remodeling is thought to contribute to the subphenotypes of irreversible airflow obstruction and airway hyperresponsiveness, and it has been associated with increased disease severity. Reversal of remodeling is therefore of paramount therapeutic importance, and mechanisms responsible for airway remodeling are feasible therapeutic targets for asthma treatment. This paper will focus on our current understanding of the mechanisms of airway remodeling in asthma and potential targets for future intervention.