Emerging molecular phenotypes of asthma

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015 Jan 15;308(2):L130-40. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00070.2014. Epub 2014 Oct 17.


Although asthma has long been considered a heterogeneous disease, attempts to define subgroups of asthma have been limited. In recent years, both clinical and statistical approaches have been utilized to better merge clinical characteristics, biology, and genetics. These combined characteristics have been used to define phenotypes of asthma, the observable characteristics of a patient determined by the interaction of genes and environment. Identification of consistent clinical phenotypes has now been reported across studies. Now the addition of various 'omics and identification of specific molecular pathways have moved the concept of clinical phenotypes toward the concept of molecular phenotypes. The importance of these molecular phenotypes is being confirmed through the integration of molecularly targeted biological therapies. Thus the global term asthma is poised to become obsolete, being replaced by terms that more specifically identify the pathology associated with the disease.

Keywords: Type 2; asthma; endotypes; molecular; phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / classification*
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Phenotype


  • Cytokines