New article in ERJ on Novel concepts in airway inflammation and remodelling in asthma!
The hallmark pathological features of asthma include airway eosinophilic inflammation and structural changes (remodelling) which are associated with an irreversible loss in lung function that tracks from childhood to adulthood. In parallel with changes in function, pathological abnormalities occur early, during the pre-school years, are established by school age and subsequently remain (even though symptoms may remit for periods during adulthood). Given the equal importance of inflammation and remodelling in asthma pathogenesis, there is a significant disparity in studies undertaken to investigate the contribution of each. The majority focus on the role of inflammation, and although novel therapeutics such as those targeted against T-helper cell type 2 (Th2) mediators have arisen, it is apparent that targeting inflammation alone has not allowed disease modification.
Therefore, unless airway remodelling is addressed for future therapeutic strategies, it is unlikely that we will progress towards a cure for asthma. Having acknowledged these limitations, the focus of this review is to highlight the gaps in our current knowledge about the mechanisms underlying airway remodelling, the relationships between remodelling, inflammation and function, remodelling and clinical phenotypes, and the importance of utilising innovative and realistic pre-clinical models to uncover effective, disease-modifying therapeutic strategies.