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Differences and similarities between the upper and lower airway: focusing on innate immunity

Volume: 59 - Issue: 5

First page: 441 - Last page: 450

H.-J. Cho - J.G. Ha - S.N. Lee - C.-H. Kim - D.-Y. Wang - J.-H. Yoon

The nose is the first respiratory barrier to external pathogens, allergens, pollutants, or cigarette smoke, and vigorous immune responses are triggered when external pathogens come in contact with the nasal epithelium. The mucosal epithelial cells of the nose are essential to the innate immune response against external pathogens and transmit signals that modulate the adaptive immune response. The upper and lower airways share many physiological and immunological features, but there are also numerous differences. It is crucial to understand these differences and their contribution to pathophysiology in order to optimize treatments for inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract. This review summarizes important differences in the embryological development, histological features, microbiota, immune responses, and cellular subtypes of mucosal epithelial cells of the nose and lungs.

Rhinology 59-5: 441-450, 2021

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