Breakdown in epithelial barrier function in patients with asthma: identification of novel therapeutic approaches

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Jul;124(1):23-34; quiz 35-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.05.037.


The bronchial epithelium is pivotally involved in the provision of chemical, physical, and immunologic barriers to the inhaled environment. These barriers serve to maintain normal homeostasis, but when compromised, the immunologic barrier becomes activated to protect the internal milieu of the lung. We discuss what is currently understood about abnormalities in these barrier functions in patients with asthma and consider novel therapeutic opportunities that target this key structure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immune System*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology*
  • Virus Diseases*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations