Excessive nerves in the airways due to remodeling are a key contributor to heightened sensitivity and airway constriction in patients with asthma, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine.
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To study airway nerves in asthma, researchers used OHSU’s state-of-the-art confocal microscopes to generate three-dimensional imagery capturing a complete picture of airway nerves and their interactions with eosinophils.
Using this new 3-D method, [researchers] studied the length of nerves and how often they branch in the airways of healthy patients and in patients with asthma. They found that in asthma, airway nerves are denser.