Neural Control of Airway Smooth Muscle

Qihai Gu, Lu Yuan Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Airway smooth muscle (ASM) is the primary effector cell responsible for controlling airway caliber and thus the resistance to airflow of the entire tracheobronchial tree. ASM tone is regulated by the autonomic nervous system involving parasympathetic, sympathetic, and nonadrenergic, noncholinergic mechanisms. Bronchoconstriction is an important component of airway defense reflexes elicited by activation of airway sensory nerves that are sensitive to inhaled irritants and endogenous inflammatory mediators. Hypersensitivity of these sensory nerves and/or dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system play an essential role in the pathogenesis of bronchospasm, a common symptom of airway inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Respiratory Medicine, Second Edition
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780081027240
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved


  • Acetylcholine
  • Adrenoceptor
  • Airway inflammation
  • Airway smooth muscle
  • Asthma
  • Bronchial hyperresponsiveness
  • Bronchomotor tone
  • Bronchopulmonary C fiber
  • Muscarinic receptor
  • Nitric oxide
  • Rapidly adapting receptor
  • Tachykinins
  • Vagus nerve
  • Vasoactive intestinal peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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