In healthy lungs, muscarinic receptors control smooth muscle tone, mucus secretion, vasodilation, and inflammation. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, cholinergic mechanisms contribute to increased bronchoconstriction and mucus secretion that limit airflow. This chapter reviews neuronal and nonneuronal sources of acetylcholine in the lung and the expression and role of M 1, M 2, and M 3 muscarinic receptor subtypes in lung physiology. It also discusses the evidence for and against the role of parasympathetic nerves in asthma, and the current use and therapeutic potential of muscarinic receptor antagonists in COPD and asthma.
- Parasympathetic nerves
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)