Mitogen-activated protein kinases and asthma

J Cell Physiol. 2005 Mar;202(3):642-53. doi: 10.1002/jcp.20169.


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are evolutionary conserved enzymes which play a key role in signal transduction mediated by cytokines, growth factors, neurotransmitters and various types of environmental stresses. In the airways, these extracellular stimuli elicit complex inflammatory and structural changes leading to the typical features of asthma including T cell activation, eosinophil and mast cell infiltration, as well as bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airway remodelling. Because MAPKs represent an important point of convergence for several different signalling pathways, they affect multiple aspects of normal airway function and also significantly contribute to asthma pathophysiology. Therefore, this review focuses on the crucial involvement of MAPKs in asthma pathogenesis, thus also discussing their emerging role as molecular targets for anti-asthma drugs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / metabolism*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchi / anatomy & histology
  • Bronchi / immunology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Structure


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases