Role of transforming growth factor-β in airway remodeling in asthma

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2011 Feb;44(2):127-33. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0027TR. Epub 2010 Jun 4.


TGF-β is one of the main mediators involved in tissue remodeling in the asthmatic lung. This profibrotic cytokine is produced by a number of cells, including macrophages, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and eosinophils. High expression of TGF-β in patients with asthma was reported by many investigators. However, controversy remains whether the concentration of TGF-β correlates with disease severity. TGF-β is believed to play an important role in most of the cellular biological processes leading to airway remodeling. It was shown to be involved in epithelial changes, subepithelial fibrosis, airway smooth muscle remodeling, and microvascular changes. Here, sources of TGF-β, as well as its role in the development of airway remodeling, will be reviewed. Therapeutic strategies that modulate TGF-β will also be discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Airway Remodeling / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Asthma / pathology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Eosinophils / physiology
  • Goblet Cells / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Microcirculation / physiology
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth / pathology
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta