Mucus hypersecretion is common in inflammatory and allergic lung disease. Excessive mucus production leads to obstruction of airways and favours bacterial colonization. Advances in understanding the signalling and transduction pathways of mucin gene expression as well as mechanisms of mucin protein production and secretion have defined new therapeutic targets. Conventional therapies include anticholinergics, β2-adrenoceptor agonists, glucocorticosteroids, mucolytics and macrolide antibiotics. Novel therapeutic approaches are inhibitors of cholinergic nerve activity, tachykinin receptor antagonists, epoxygenase inducers, inhibitors of mucin exocytosis, inhibitors of mucin synthesis and goblet cell hyperplasia, inducers of goblet cell apoptosis and P2Y2 purinoceptor antagonists to inhibit mucin secretion. After providing a short overview on conventional therapies this review will focus on new therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Airway, allergy, inflammation, mucus, treatment
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