Asthma, characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation and remodeling, is a chronic airway disease with complex etiology. Severe asthma is characterized by frequent exacerbations and poor therapeutic response to conventional asthma therapy. A clear understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of asthma is critical for the discovery of novel targets for optimal therapeutic control of asthma. Metabolomics is emerging as a powerful tool to elucidate novel disease mechanisms in a variety of diseases. In this review, we summarize the current status of knowledge in asthma metabolomics at systemic and cellular levels. The findings demonstrate that various metabolic pathways, related to energy metabolism, macromolecular biosynthesis and redox signaling, are differentially modulated in asthma. Airway smooth muscle cell plays pivotal roles in asthma by contributing to airway hyperreactivity, inflammatory mediator release and remodeling. We posit that metabolomic profiling of airway structural cells, including airway smooth muscle cells, will shed light on molecular mechanisms of asthma and airway hyperresponsiveness and help identify novel therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Airway smooth muscle; Asthma; Big data; Metabolism.
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