Airway inflammation and hypersensitivity induced by chronic smoking.

Summary of "Airway inflammation and hypersensitivity induced by chronic smoking."

Airway hypersensitivity, characterized by enhanced excitability of airway sensory nerves, is a prominent pathophysiological feature in patients with airway inflammatory diseases. Although the underlying pathogenic mechanism is not fully understood, chronic airway inflammation is believed to be primarily responsible. Cigarette smoking is known to cause chronic airway inflammation, accompanied by airway hyperresponsiveness. Experimental evidence indicates that enhanced excitability of vagal bronchopulmonary sensory nerves and increased tachykinin synthesis in these nerves resulting from chronic inflammation are important contributing factors to the airway hyperresponsiveness. Multiple inflammatory mediators released from various types of structural and inflammatory cells are involved in the smoking-induced airway inflammation, which is mainly regulated by redox-sensitive signaling pathways and transcription factors. Furthermore, recent studies have reported potent sensitizing and stimulatory effects of these inflammatory mediators such as prostanoids and reactive oxygen species on these sensory nerves. In summary, these studies using cigarette smoking as an experimental approach have identified certain potentially important cell signaling pathways and underlying mechanisms of the airway hypersensitivity induced by chronic airway inflammation.


Institute of Physiology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan, ROC.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Respiratory physiology & neurobiology
ISSN: 1878-1519
Pages: 395-405


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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A subtype of bradykinin receptor that is induced in response to INFLAMMATION. It may play a role in chronic inflammation and has a high specificity for KININS lacking the C-terminal ARGININE such as des-Arg(10)-kallidin and des-Arg(9)-bradykinin. The receptor is coupled to G-PROTEIN, GQ-G11 ALPHA FAMILY and G-PROTEIN, GI-GO ALPHA FAMILY signaling proteins.

The minor fragment formed when C5 convertase cleaves C5 into C5a and COMPLEMENT C5B. C5a is a 74-amino-acid glycopeptide with a carboxy-terminal ARGININE that is crucial for its spasmogenic activity. Of all the complement-derived anaphylatoxins, C5a is the most potent in mediating immediate hypersensitivity (HYPERSENSITIVITY, IMMEDIATE), smooth MUSCLE CONTRACTION; HISTAMINE RELEASE; and migration of LEUKOCYTES to site of INFLAMMATION.

Discontinuation of the habit of smoking, the inhaling and exhaling of tobacco smoke.

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