The effect of asthma therapeutics on signalling and transcriptional regulation of airway smooth muscle function

Alaina J. Ammit, Janette K. Burgess, Stuart J. Hirst, J. Margaret Hughes, Manminder Kaur, Justine Y. Lau, Suzanne Zuyderduyn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Scope of the Review: Our knowledge of the multifunctional nature of airway smooth muscle (ASM) has expanded rapidly in the last decade, but the underlying molecular mechanisms and how current therapies for obstructive airway diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affect these are still being elucidated. Our current knowledge has built on the pharmacology of human ASM contraction and relaxation established prior to that and which is reviewed in detail elsewhere in this issue. The advent of methods to isolate and culture ASM cells, especially human ASM cells, has made it possible to study how they may contribute to airway remodelling through their synthetic, proliferative, and migratory capacities. Now the underlying molecular mechanisms of ASM growth factor secretion, extracellular matrix (ECM) production, proliferation and migration, as well as contraction and relaxation, are being determined. A complex network of signalling pathways leading to gene transcription in ASM cells permits this functional plasticity in healthy and diseased airways. This review is an overview of the effects of current therapies, and some of those in development, on key signalling pathways and transcription factors involved in these ASM functions. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)446-454
    Number of pages8
    JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


    • β 2-adrenoceptor agonists
    • Anticholinergics
    • Cromolyns
    • Glucocorticoids
    • Leukotriene receptor antagonists


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