Why new biology must be uncovered to advance therapeutic strategies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by the destruction of alveolar tissue (in emphysema) and airway remodeling (leading to chronic bronchitis), which cause difficulties in breathing. It is a growing public health concern with few therapeutic options that can reverse disease progression or mortality. This is in part because current treatments mainly focus on ameliorating symptoms induced by inflammatory pathways as opposed to curing disease. Hence, emerging research focused on upstream pathways are likely to be beneficial in the development of efficient therapeutics to address the root causes of disease. Some of these pathways include mitochondrial function, cytoskeletal structure and maintenance, and airway hydration, which are all affected by toxins that contribute to COPD. Because of the complexity of COPD and unknown targets for disease onset, simpler model organisms have proved to be useful tools in identifying disease-relevant pathways and targets. This review summarizes COPD pathology, current treatments, and therapeutic discovery research, with a focus on the aforementioned pathways that can advance the therapeutic landscape of COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1-L11
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Volume320
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Airway and alveolar epithelium
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Mitochondria
  • Model organisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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