Airway smooth muscle--its relationship to the extracellular matrix

Judith L. Black, Janette K. Burgess, Peter R.A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


The airway smooth muscle cell has a variety of properties, which confer on it the ability to participate actively in the inflammatory process and the remodeling events, which accompany severe, persistent asthma. Among these properties is its relationship to the extracellular matrix (ECM) with which it interacts by releasing matrix proteins, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs). Muscle cells derived from asthmatic subjects proliferate faster, release a different profile of matrix proteins, produce more connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in response to TGFbeta stimulation and these changes may impact on airway smooth muscle contraction and proliferation. Integrins on the surface of the airway smooth muscle transduce signals between the muscle cell and the ECM, but whether the expression and/or function of these is altered in asthma is not known. It is unlikely that current therapy is effective in preventing or reversing remodeling, and therefore, understanding the pathophysiological events, which underlie its mechanism is critical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory physiology & neurobiology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 16-Sept-2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Airways, smooth muscle
  • Disease, asthma, airway smooth muscle remodeling
  • Enzymes, metalloproteases
  • Mammals, humans
  • Mediators, connective tissue growth factor, CTGF
  • Mediators, TGFβ
  • Muscle, smooth, airway
  • Proteins, extracellular matrix
  • connective tissue growth factor
  • integrin
  • matrix metalloproteinase
  • matrix protein
  • scleroprotein
  • tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1
  • transforming growth factor
  • asthma
  • breathing muscle
  • cell proliferation
  • extracellular matrix
  • human
  • inflammation
  • mediator release
  • nonhuman
  • pathophysiology
  • priority journal
  • protein expression
  • protein function
  • protein interaction
  • protein secretion
  • protein synthesis
  • review
  • signal transduction
  • smooth muscle fiber

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