The extracellular matrix - the under-recognized element in lung disease?

Janette K. Burgess*, Thais Mauad, Gavin Tjin, Jenny C. Karlsson, Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)
272 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The lung is composed of airways and lung parenchyma, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) contains the main building blocks of both components. The ECM provides physical support and stability to the lung, and as such it has in the past been regarded as an inert structure. More recent research has provided novel insights revealing that the ECM is also a bioactive environment that orchestrates the cellular responses in its environs. Changes in the ECM in the airway or parenchymal tissues are now recognized in the pathological profiles of many respiratory diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Only recently have we begun to investigate whether these ECM changes result from the disease process, or whether they constitute a driving factor that orchestrates the pathological outcomes. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the alterations in the ECM in asthma, COPD, and IPF, and the contributions of these alterations to the pathologies. Emerging data suggest that alterations in the composition, folding or rigidity of ECM proteins may alter the functional responses of cells within their environs, and in so doing change the pathological outcomes. These characteristics highlight potential avenues for targeting lung pathologies in the future. This may ultimately contribute to a better understanding of chronic lung diseases, and novel approaches for finding therapeutic solutions. (c) 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
JournalJOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY
Volume240
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2016

Keywords

  • extracellular matrix
  • lung
  • collagen
  • myofibroblast
  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • niche
  • fibrosis
  • AIRWAY SMOOTH-MUSCLE
  • IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY-FIBROSIS
  • RETICULAR BASEMENT-MEMBRANE
  • CONNECTIVE-TISSUE
  • ELASTIC FIBERS
  • IN-VITRO
  • CELL-PROLIFERATION
  • MILD ASTHMA
  • TGF-BETA
  • PROTEOGLYCAN DEPOSITION

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