Angiogenesis in asthma


Prof. Domenico Ribatti, Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari Medical School, Piazza G. Cesare, 11, Policlinico, 70124 Bari, Italy.


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by infiltration and activation of inflammatory cells and by structural changes, including subepithelial fibrosis, smooth muscle cells hypertrophy/hyperplasia, epithelial cell metaplasia and angiogenesis. These structural changes are thought to correlate with asthma severity and to account for the development of progressive lung function deterioration. The mechanism underlying airway angiogenesis in asthma and its precise clinical relevance have not yet been completely elucidated. This review provides recent data showing the contribution of allergic inflammation in increased airway vascularity and potential therapeutical approaches in asthma treatment by acting on bronchial microvascular changes.