Regeneration and repair in the healing lung

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The lung achieves an efficient gas exchange between a complex non-sterile atmosphere and the body via a delicate and extensive epithelial surface, with high efficiency because of elastic deformation allowing for an increase and decrease in volume during the process of breathing and because of an extensive vasculature which aids rapid gas diffusion. The lungs’ large surface area exposes the organ to a continual risk of damage from pathogens, toxins or irritants; however, lung damage can be rapidly healed via regenerative processes that restore its structure and function. In response to sustained and extensive damage, the lung is healed via a non-regenerative process resulting in scar tissue which locally stiffens its structure, which over time leads to a serious loss of lung function and to increasing morbidities. This review discusses what is known about the factors which influence whether a lung is healed by regeneration or repair and what potential new therapeutic approaches may positively influence lung healing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1152
JournalClinical and Translational Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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