The family of resistin-like molecules (RELMs) consists of four members in rodents (RELMα/FIZZ1/HIMF, RELMβ/FIZZ2, Resistin/FIZZ3, and RELMγ/FIZZ4) and two members in humans (Resistin and RELMβ), all of which exhibit inflammation-regulating, chemokine, and growth factor properties. The importance of these cytokines in many aspects of physiology and pathophysiology, especially in cardiothoracic diseases, is rapidly evolving in the literature. In this review article, we attempt to summarize the contribution of RELM signaling to the initiation and progression of lung diseases, such as pulmonary hypertension, asthma/allergic airway inflammation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibrosis, cancers, infection, and other acute lung injuries. The potential of RELMs to be used as biomarkers or risk predictors of these diseases also will be discussed. Better understanding of RELM signaling in the pathogenesis of pulmonary diseases may offer novel targets or approaches for the development of therapeutics to treat or prevent a variety of inflammation, tissue remodeling, and fibrosis-related disorders in respiratory, cardiovascular, and other systems.
Keywords: FIZZ1; HIMF; RELMs; inflammation; lung.