Medicine Targeting Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition to Treat Airway Remodeling and Pulmonary Fibrosis Progression

Can Respir J. 2023 Nov 29:2023:3291957. doi: 10.1155/2023/3291957. eCollection 2023.


Objective. Dysregulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the airway epithelium is associated with airway remodeling and the progression of pulmonary fibrosis. Many treatments have been shown to inhibit airway remodeling and pulmonary fibrosis progression in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by regulating EMT and have few side effects. This review aimed to describe the development of airway remodeling through the EMT pathway, as well as the potential therapeutic targets in these pathways. Furthermore, this study aimed to review the current research on drugs to treat airway remodeling and their effects on the EMT pathway. Findings. The dysregulation of EMT was associated with airway remodeling in various respiratory diseases. The cytokines released during inflammation may induce EMT and subsequent airway remodeling. Various drugs, including herbal formulations, specific herbal compounds, cytokines, amino acid or protein inhibitors, microRNAs, and vitamins, may suppress airway remodeling by inhibiting EMT-related pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Airway Remodeling
  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Cytokines
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis* / drug therapy


  • Cytokines