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Epithelial barriers in allergy and asthma.

Authors
  • Hellings, Peter W1
  • Steelant, Brecht2
  • 1 Clinical Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; KU Leuven Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, Allergy and Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Ghent, Laboratory of Upper Airway Research, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Belgium)
  • 2 KU Leuven Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, Allergy and Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Crete School of Medicine, Heraklion, Crete, Greece. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2020
Volume
145
Issue
6
Pages
1499–1509
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.04.010
PMID: 32507228
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The respiratory epithelium provides a physical, functional, and immunologic barrier to protect the host from the potential harming effects of inhaled environmental particles and to guarantee maintenance of a healthy state of the host. When compromised, activation of immune/inflammatory responses against exogenous allergens, microbial substances, and pollutants might occur, rendering individuals prone to develop chronic inflammation as seen in allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and asthma. The airway epithelium in asthma and upper airway diseases is dysfunctional due to disturbed tight junction formation. By putting the epithelial barrier to the forefront of the pathophysiology of airway inflammation, different approaches to diagnose and target epithelial barrier defects are currently being developed. Using single-cell transcriptomics, novel epithelial cell types are being unraveled that might play a role in chronicity of respiratory diseases. We here review and discuss the current understandings of epithelial barrier defects in type 2-driven chronic inflammation of the upper and lower airways, the estimated contribution of these novel identified epithelial cells to disease, and the current clinical challenges in relation to diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and asthma. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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