Tissue remodeling as a feature of persistent asthma

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Jun;105(6 Pt 1):1041-53. doi: 10.1067/mai.2000.107195.


A chronic inflammatory process is almost invariably associated with tissue damage and healing. Healing results in repair and replacement of dead or damaged cells by viable cells. Repair usually involves 2 distinct processes: regeneration, which is the replacement of injured tissue by parenchymal cells of the same type, and replacement by connective tissue and its eventual maturation into scar tissue. In many instances both processes contribute to the healing response. Chronic inflammatory disease can therefore lead to a wide variety of consequences, from complete or partial restitution of organ structure and function to fibrosis. Asthma is characterized by a chronic inflammatory process of the airways. The ensuing healing process results in structural alterations referred to as a remodeling of the airways. The mechanisms underlying these structural alterations are still largely unknown. They are likely to be heterogeneous, leading-through the highly dynamic process of cell de-differentiation, migration, differentiation, and maturation-to changes in connective tissue deposition and to the altered restitution of airways structure, resulting in mucus gland hyperplasia, neovascularization, fibrosis, and an increase in smooth muscle mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchi / physiology*
  • Regeneration
  • Wound Healing / physiology