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This article has been peer reviewed and published in Respiratory Research Volume 4, 14 March 2003, 23p The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1465-9921-4-2 Copyright © BioMed Central Ltd


Signaling through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediates numerous airway smooth muscle (ASM) functions including contraction, growth, and "synthetic" functions that orchestrate airway inflammation and promote remodeling of airway architecture. In this review we provide a comprehensive overview of the GPCRs that have been identified in ASM cells, and discuss the extent to which signaling via these GPCRs has been characterized and linked to distinct ASM functions. In addition, we examine the role of GPCR signaling and its regulation in asthma and asthma treatment, and suggest an integrative model whereby an imbalance of GPCR-derived signals in ASM cells contributes to the asthmatic state.

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