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Angiogenesis in Interstitial Lung Diseases: a pathogenetic hallmark or a bystander?

DOI: 10.1186/1465-9921-7-82

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The interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) are a heterogeneous group of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases comprising different clinical and histopathological entities that have been broadly classified into several categories [1,2] including sarcoidosis and idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs). The latter have been recently classified into seven different disease-members [3-8]. The most important and frequent of these conditions are idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) with the histopathologic pattern of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) and cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP). Their aetiology has remained elusive and the molecular mechanisms driving their pathogenesis are poorly understood. Recent theories implicate recurrent injurious exposure, imbalance that shifts Th1/Th2 equilibrium towards Th2 immunity and angiogenesis in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis, both in human and experimental studies [9]. The Th1/Th2 pathway and angiogenesis have been recently suggested to play pivotal role in the immunopathogenesis of sarcoidosis contributing to the formation of granuloma, the main histopathologic feature of the disease [10].The scope of this review article is to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding angiogenic and angiostatic activity in the most important and prevalent members of ILD disease-group such as IIPs and sarcoidosis, discuss its pathogenetic role and present some of the future perspectives and limitations based on authors' assessment or originated from the statements of original authors.Angiogenesis is the process of new capillary blood vessels growth and is instrumental under both physiologic and pathologic conditions. Physiologic conditions include embryogenesis, growth, tissue repair after injury and the female reproductive cycle whereas pathologic angiogenesis can occur in chronic inflammatory and fibroproliferative disorders and tumorigenesis of cancer. Angiogenesis is similar to but d


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