The inflammatory response of the lung and airways is one of the main targets for the development of new therapies for variety of disorders including the acute respiratory distress syndrome, cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Over the last decade our understanding of the molecular biology of the inflammatory response has advanced considerably and has opened up new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Furthermore, the mechanism of action of many of the existing anti-inflammatory agents has been revealed by this burgeoning information. Here, we discuss the functions and therapeutic potential of molecules that might prove promising as targets for treatment of inflammatory lung diseases. These possible molecular targets include cell surface proteins / receptors [toll like receptors (TLRs), triggering receptors expressed on myeloid cells (TREMs), and syndecans)], transcription factors [NF-κB, AP-1, PU.1, and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)], and regulatory proteins [macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1)].
Keywords: macrophage, acute respiratory distress syndrome, tlr, trem, syndecans, ap-1, pu.1, hmgb-1, mif
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