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Top Notch Decisions In The Developing Airways Bring Insights Into Lung Disease

Posted Jun 18 2009 12:47pm

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In the normal lung, the airways are lined by a balanced mixture of ciliated, secretory and neuroendocrine cells which perform functions as diverse as air humidification, detoxification, and clearance of environmental particles. This balance can be altered dramatically by faulty adaptation responses of the lung to cigarette smoke or allergens in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

How these different cell types emerge from lung progenitor cells and how these fates are balanced in developing airways, remain an open question. A study from a research team led by Wellington Cardoso, MD, a professor at the Pulmonary Center Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Program in Lung Development and Progenitor Cell Biology, sheds light into this problem.

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