Contribution of Plasma-Derived Molecules to Mucosal Immune Defence, Disease and Repair in the Airways

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This review discusses recent observations, in health and disease, on the release and distribution of plasma-derived molecules in the airway mucosa. Briefly, the new data on airway mucosal exudation mechanisms suggest that the protein systems of plasma contribute significantly to the mucosal biology, not only in injured airways but also in such mildly inflamed airways that lack oedema and exhibit no sign of epithelial derangement. Plasma as a source of pluripotent growth factor, adhesive, leucocyte-activating, etc., molecules may deserve a prominent position in schemes that claim to illustrate immunological and inflammatory mechanisms of the airway mucosa in vivo.

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