Respiratory Disorders of the Immune System and Their Pharmacological Treatment
The respiratory system comprising of the upper airway passages and bronchopulmonary tissues including the trachea and the lung are vital for the processes of gas exchange and cellular respiration. Inflammatory disorders of the lower respiratory tract such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a major cause of debilitating illness throughout the world and significantly contribute to mortality and increases in health care costs. In this chapter, we discuss the pathophysiology and the immunological basis of these diseases as well as the pharmacology of the drugs used in their treatment. The specific contributions of immune cells including TH2 cells, mast cells, and type 2 innate lymphoid cells are described in detail. Novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of asthma and COPD are also discussed. Lastly, the discovery of IgE antibodies is highlighted in the Bench to Bedside section.
KeywordsAsthma Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Allergy Hypersensitivity Atopy Airway hyperresponsiveness Eosinophilia Airway obstruction Airway remodeling Mucus plugging Chronic bronchitis Emphysema TH2 cells Mast cells IgE antibodies Allergic rhinitis β2-agonists Inhaled corticosteroids Anti-muscarinic agents Leukotriene receptor antagonists Omalizumab Anti-IL-5 antagonists
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