Dysregulated Cell Signaling in Pulmonary Emphysema

Chih Ru Lin, Karim Bahmed, Beata Kosmider

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pulmonary emphysema is characterized by the destruction of alveolar septa and irreversible airflow limitation. Cigarette smoking is the primary cause of this disease development. It induces oxidative stress and disturbs lung physiology and tissue homeostasis. Alveolar type II (ATII) cells have stem cell potential and can repair the denuded epithelium after injury; however, their dysfunction is evident in emphysema. There is no effective treatment available for this disease. Challenges in this field involve the large complexity of lung pathophysiological processes and gaps in our knowledge on the mechanisms of emphysema progression. It implicates dysregulation of various signaling pathways, including aberrant inflammatory and oxidative responses, defective antioxidant defense system, surfactant dysfunction, altered proteostasis, disrupted circadian rhythms, mitochondrial damage, increased cell senescence, apoptosis, and abnormal proliferation and differentiation. Also, genetic predispositions are involved in this disease development. Here, we comprehensively review studies regarding dysregulated cell signaling, especially in ATII cells, and their contribution to alveolar wall destruction in emphysema. Relevant preclinical and clinical interventions are also described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number762878
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 3 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • alveolar epithelium
  • alveolar type II cells
  • emphysema
  • lung
  • oxidative stress
  • tissue homeostasis


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