Airway smooth muscle: A potential target for asthma therapy

Maria L. Dowell, Tera L. Lavoie, Julian Solway, Ramaswamy Krishnan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Asthma is a major public health problem that afflicts nearly one in 20 people worldwide. Despite available treatments, asthma symptoms remain poorly controlled in a significant minority of asthma patients, especially those with severe disease. Accordingly, much ongoing effort has been directed at developing new therapeutic strategies; these efforts are described in detail below. RECENT FINDINGS: Although mucus hypersecretion is an important component of asthma pathobiology, the primary mechanism of morbidity and mortality in asthma is excessive narrowing of the airway. The key end- effector of excessive airway narrowing is airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction; overcoming ASM contraction is therefore a prominent therapeutic strategy. Here, we review exciting new advances aimed at ASM relaxation. SUMMARY: Exciting advances in ASM biology have identified new therapeutic targets for the prevention or reversal of bronchoconstriction in asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in pulmonary medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • airway smooth muscle
  • asthma
  • bronchodilation
  • therapeutic targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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