Lung

, Volume 166, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Plasma exudation and asthma

  • Carl G. A. Persson
Review

Abstract

Several pieces of evidence support the view that exudation of plasma into the airway wall and into the airway lumen occurs in asthma. Vascular leakage of plasma results from inflammatory mediator-induced separation of endothelial cells in postcapillary venules belonging to the tracheobronchial circulation. Whereas proposed mediators of asthma induce reversible leakage, several antiasthma drugs exhibit antileakage effects in animals and humans. Potential consequences of plasma exudation are many. Mucosal/submucosal edema might contribute to airway hyperresponsiveness. Plasma exudate in the airway lumen in asthma may contribute to sloughing of epithelium, impairment of mucociliary transport, narrowing of small airways, and mucus plug formation. Exuded plasma may cause airway inflammation and constriction because of its content of powerful mediators, and chemoattractant factors and plasma proteins may condition the inflammatory cells abundant in asthmatic airways to release mediators in response to stimuli that otherwise would be innocuous to the cells. It is concluded that inflammatory stimulus-induced increase in macromolecular permeability of the tracheobronchial microvasculature and mucosa may be a significant pathogenetic mechanism in asthma and that the postcapillary venular endothelium and airway epithelium that regulate leakage of plasma are important effector cells in this disease.

Key words

Airway inflammation Asthma pathology Macromolecular leakage Microvascular permeability Mucosal permeability Mediators Antiasthma drugs 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl G. A. Persson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity Hospital of Lund, and AB Draco Pharmacological LaboratoryLundSweden

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