The role of MMPs in the inflammatory process of acute lung injury

  • Sissie Wong
  • Mark A. Birrell
  • Maria G. Belvisi
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


Acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) manifests as non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema, respiratory distress, hypoxemia and results from various processes that directly or indirectly injure the lung (e.g., during sepsis). The innate inflammatory response of the lung to infection, which triggers a cascade of events, including release of proinflammatory cytokines, influx of polymorphonuclear neutrophils in the lung tissue, and production of proteinases, such as matrix metalloproteinases, is central to host defence processes. However, in disease conditions, this chronic inflammatory response can become detrimental to the airways, causing degradation of the extracellular matrix in the lung. Matrix metalloproteinases are thought to play a critical role in this degradation, and has been the subject of intense research. In an attempt to prevent or control disease progression there has been great interest in the development of MMP inhibitors. However, to date, there are no effective therapeutic agents; hence, researchers continue to further elucidate the complex role of these proteinases.


Acute Lung Injury Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Inflammatory Airway Disease Lagente Versus Experimental Acute Lung Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sissie Wong
    • 1
  • Mark A. Birrell
    • 1
  • Maria G. Belvisi
    • 1
  1. 1.Respiratory Pharmacology Group, Airways Disease Section, Imperial College London, Faculty of MedicineNational Heart and Lung InstituteLondonUK

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