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Understanding the aetiology of small airway fibrosis in COPD

Project Member(s): Oliver, B.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Respiratory Council (The Australian Respiratory Council - Harry Windsor Research Grants Scheme)

Start year: 2015

Summary: People with COPD find it difficult to breath because their lungs have been damaged. In COPD this is caused by the small airways becoming thickened or fibrotic, reducing the airway lumen thus making it difficult for people to breath in and out. Furthermore, even in the early stages COPD small airway fibrosis is the first part of a cascade of events which ultimately lead to the development of emphysema. The exact cause of this thickening of the small airways is not known, but previous studies from Dr Brian Oliver at the Woolcock Institute has found that each of the different cell types in the airway wall produces different components involved in the formation of fibrosis in response to cigarette smoke. Now in this project his team will uncover how these cells work together to form the fibrotic airway. It is hoped that this new information will lead to the development of new medications that are able to target fibrosis in COPD.


Bozier, J, Rutting, S, Xenaki, D, Peters, M, Adcock, I & Oliver, BG 2019, 'Heightened response to e-cigarettes in COPD', ERJ Open Research, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 00192-2018.
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Faiz, A, Donovan, C, Nieuwenhuis, MA, van den Berge, M, Postma, DS, Yao, S, Park, CY, Hirsch, R, Fredberg, JJ, Tjin, G, Halayko, AJ, Rempel, KL, Ward, JPT, Lee, T, Bossé, Y, Nickle, DC, Obeidat, M, Vonk, JM, Black, JL, Oliver, BG, Krishnan, R, McParland, B, Bourke, JE & Burgess, JK 2017, 'Latrophilin receptors: novel bronchodilator targets in asthma', Thorax, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 74-82.
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Kota, A, Deshpande, DA, Haghi, M, Oliver, B & Sharma, P 2017, 'Autophagy and airway fibrosis: Is there a link?', F1000Research, vol. 6, no. 409, pp. 409-409.
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Sharma, P, Yi, R, Nayak, AP, Wang, N, Tang, F, Knight, MJ, Pan, S, Oliver, B & Deshpande, DA 2017, 'Bitter Taste Receptor Agonists Mitigate Features of Allergic Asthma in Mice.', Scientific reports, vol. 7, pp. 46166-14.
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Capistrano, S, Zakarya, R, Chen, H & Oliver, B 2016, 'Biomass Smoke Exposure Enhances Rhinovirus-Induced Inflammation in Primary Lung Fibroblasts', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 17, no. 9, pp. 1403-1403.
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Ing, M, Oliver, RA, Oliver, BGG, Walsh, WR & Williamson, JP 2016, 'Evaluation of Transbronchial Lung Cryobiopsy Size and Freezing Time: A Prognostic Animal Study', Respiration, vol. 92, no. 1, pp. 34-39.
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Keywords: fibrosis, COPD

FOR Codes: Respiratory System and Diseases (incl. Asthma), Respiratory Diseases, Respiratory diseases , Clinical health