The Respiratory Epithelium in COPD

Chad Hochberg, Venkataramana Sidhaye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by airflow obstruction from small airway remodeling and alveolar airspace destruction. As a disease primarily related to cigarette smoke and environmental exposure, the role of the respiratory epithelium, as a defensive barrier, is crucial. In COPD, there is a chronic breakdown of epithelial barrier properties including physical, chemical, and immunologic dysfunction. In the airways, this results in a leaky barrier with metaplastic changes leading to mucous hypersecretion, small airway fibrosis, and narrowing. In the alveolar airspaces, emphysema develops and is characterized by a tissue-destructive process. Both airway and airspace changes occur in the setting of chronic inflammation and may involve accelerated cell aging. As we will outline in this chapter, the epithelium is critical in the pathogenesis of COPD and may serve as an important target for future COPD therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLung Epithelial Biology in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Disease
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128038819
ISBN (Print)9780128038093
StatePublished - Mar 16 2017


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Respiratory epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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