PerspectiveInflammation

Modulating pulmonary inflammation

Science  12 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6274, pp. 662-663
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1429

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Summary

The human respiratory tract transports millions of liters of gases throughout life. Because the conducting airways are exposed to countless microbes, particles, and toxicants, the tract has evolved an immune system that protects lung structure and function (1). Ventilation is primarily controlled by neuromuscular activity in the diaphragm and other muscles, and by sensory inputs from relatively rare pulmonary neuroepithelial cells. These cells cluster and form neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs) at branch points along the lung's airways. On page 707 of this issue, Branchfield et al. (2) reveal how NEBs arise during lung morphogenesis and clarify how their role in inflammation and tissue remodeling is relevant to the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases that affect children.