The respiratory mucus, a viscoelastic gel, effectuates a primary line of the airway defense when operated by the mucociliary clearance. In chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs), such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis (CF), the mucus is overproduced and its solid content augments, changing its structure and viscoelastic properties and determining a derangement of essential defense mechanisms against opportunistic microbial (virus and bacteria) pathogens. This ensues in damaging of the airways, leading to a vicious cycle of obstruction and infection responsible for the harsh clinical evolution of these CRDs. Here, we review the essential features of normal and pathological mucus (i.e., sputum in CF, COPD, and asthma), i.e., mucin content, structure (mesh size), micro/macro-rheology, pH, and osmotic pressure, ending with the awareness that sputum biomarkers (mucins, inflammatory proteins and peptides, and metabolites) might serve to indicate acute exacerbation and response to therapies. There are some indications that old and novel treatments may change the structure, viscoelastic properties, and biomarker content of sputum; however, a wealth of work is still needed to embrace these measures as correlates of disease severity in association with (or even as substitutes of) pulmonary functional tests.

Mucus Structure, Viscoelastic Properties, and Composition in Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Abrami M.;Biasin A.;Tierno D.;Dapas B.;Carbone A.;Grassi G.;Grassi M.
2024-01-01

Abstract

The respiratory mucus, a viscoelastic gel, effectuates a primary line of the airway defense when operated by the mucociliary clearance. In chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs), such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis (CF), the mucus is overproduced and its solid content augments, changing its structure and viscoelastic properties and determining a derangement of essential defense mechanisms against opportunistic microbial (virus and bacteria) pathogens. This ensues in damaging of the airways, leading to a vicious cycle of obstruction and infection responsible for the harsh clinical evolution of these CRDs. Here, we review the essential features of normal and pathological mucus (i.e., sputum in CF, COPD, and asthma), i.e., mucin content, structure (mesh size), micro/macro-rheology, pH, and osmotic pressure, ending with the awareness that sputum biomarkers (mucins, inflammatory proteins and peptides, and metabolites) might serve to indicate acute exacerbation and response to therapies. There are some indications that old and novel treatments may change the structure, viscoelastic properties, and biomarker content of sputum; however, a wealth of work is still needed to embrace these measures as correlates of disease severity in association with (or even as substitutes of) pulmonary functional tests.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
IJMolSci 2024.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo
Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 2.3 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.3 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3078319
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact