Alice Panariti PhD sarà ospite del Prof. Giacomo Bellani.
Severe asthma, affecting 10-15% of asthmatic patients world-wide, results in frequent exacerbations that respond poorly to steroids. Airway remodelling refers to the structural changes that occur in large and small airways and contribute to airway narrowing, bronchial hyper-responsiveness, airway edema and mucous hypersecretion.
Structural changes include epithelial alterations, subepithelial fibrosis, goblet cells hyperplasia, increased smooth muscle mass and neovascularization. Among these, the last two has raised particular attention for their contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases. Indeed, ASM mass is increased in asthma, but it is unknown whether ASM orientation and morphology are altered as well or whether the remodelling at the source of the mass increase is ongoing.
In addition, despite many studies have focused on the role of inflammation in airway remodelling, its contribution to vascular remodeling is still poorly understood. We therefore assessed whether IL-17A, a pro-inflammatory cytokine associated to severe asthma, directly or indirectly affects endothelial cell activation and angiogenesis. Understanding the process of increased smooth muscle mass and the role of inflammation in in vascular remodelling may open up avenues for reversing the remodelling process.