Sodium and asthma: something borrowed, something new?
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Some early studies have called attention to the potential contribution of sodium (both dietary and serum levels) in airway-related disease, although the picture was not entirely clear. Two recent developments may now allow a more careful consideration of this: first, the greatly improved understanding of the role of salt in hypertension (particularly the identification of subgroups of salt-sensitive individuals within the general population), and second, the recent discovery of the role of the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger in smooth muscle function. Here, we first review those two developments and then apply them to airway smooth muscle and asthma.
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