chapter  9
30 Pages

Molecular Mechanisms of Respiratory Virus-Induced Inflammation

Inflammation is a central feature of many lung diseases, including bronchial asthma. Although the specific characteristics of the inflammatory responses and the site of inflammation differ between one disease and another, they always involve recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells and changes in structural cells of the lung. Inflammatory responses are associated with an increased expression of a cascade of proteins that includes cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, enzymes, adhesion molecules, and receptors. In most cases the increased expression of these proteins is the result of enhanced gene transcription: many of the genes are not expressed in normal cells under resting conditions but they are induced in the inflammatory process in a cell-specific manner. Transcription factors regulate the expression of many genes, including inflammatory genes and may play a key role in the pathogenesis of respiratory inflammatory diseases.