Immunology of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Mar;8(3):183-92. doi: 10.1038/nri2254. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Abstract

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are both obstructive airway diseases that involve chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract, but the type of inflammation is markedly different between these diseases, with different patterns of inflammatory cells and mediators being involved. As described in this Review, these inflammatory profiles are largely determined by the involvement of different immune cells, which orchestrate the recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells that drive the distinct patterns of structural changes in these diseases. However, it is now becoming clear that the distinction between these diseases becomes blurred in patients with severe asthma, in asthmatic subjects who smoke and during acute exacerbations. This has important implications for the development of new therapies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / immunology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology