Calcium ION Mechanisms in Airway Smooth Muscle: Potential Targets for Novel Symptomatic Drugs for Asthma
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Calcium ions (Ca2+) are fundamental to the processes responsible for the initiation and maintenance of contraction of airway smooth muscle cells. Recent developments in our understanding of signal transduction mechanisms relating to intracellular Ca2+ release have extended our knowledge of excitation-contraction coupling mechanisms in airway smooth muscle. Furthermore, these developments open up potential targets for the development of new drugs, with novel mechanisms of action, for the symptomatic treatment of asthma. This article reviews these recent advances and focusses upon those calcium ion mechanisms that are possible targets for drug action.
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