Nicola Miglino, Michael Roth, Michael Tamm, Peter Borger*
Pulmonary Cell Research, Departments of Biomedicine and Pneumology, University Hospital Basel,
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the two most prominent chronic inflammatory lung diseases with increasing prevalence. Both diseases are associated with mild or severe remodeling of the airways. In this review, we postulate that the pathologies of asthma and COPD may result from inadequate responses and/or a deregulated balance of a group of cell differentiation regulating factors, the CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Proteins (C/EBPs). In addition, we will argue that the exposure to environmental factors, such as house dust mite and cigarette smoke, changes the response of C/EBPs and are different in diseased cells. These novel insights may lead to a better understanding of the etiology of the diseases and may provide new aspects for therapies.
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
* Address correspondence to this author at the Pulmonary Cell Research,
University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine, Hebelstrasse 20, CH -
4031 Basel, Switzerland; Tel: +61 41 265 3254; Fax: +61 41 265 2350;