Regulation of Contractility in Immature Airway Smooth Muscle

  • Y. S. PrakashEmail author
  • Christina M. Pabelick
  • Richard J. Martin


Airway smooth muscle (ASM) plays an important role in the regulation of airway tone at all stages of life. While there has been much examination of the mechanisms by which adult ASM contracts and relaxes, especially given its importance in diseases such as asthma, there has been substantially less exploration of immature ASM. Here, given the fact that embryonic/fetal and postnatal lung development is associated with substantial and rapid changes in airway structure and size, the immature ASM must maintain the capability to contract/relax as well as proliferate. Beyond this obvious physiological relevance, the clinical importance of understanding the developing ASM lies in its potential role in diseases of the newborn that predispose infants to adult problems such as asthma. In this chapter we briefly describe the current state of knowledge regarding immature ASM and mechanisms that regulate its contractility.


Lung Embryology Premature birth Asthma Bronchopulmonary dysplasia 



This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 HL056470 (YSP, RM) and the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute (FAMRI; CMP).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. S. Prakash
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christina M. Pabelick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard J. Martin
    • 3
  1. 1.Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Anesthesiology and Physiology and Biomedical EngineeringCollege of Medicine, Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Division of NeonatologyRainbow Babies Children’s Hospital, Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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