COPD and Other Inflammatory Diseases of the Lung: Focus on AhR Signaling

Celine A. Beamer, Benjamin P. Seaver, David M. Shepherd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Millions of individuals worldwide are afflicted with disorders affecting the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing. Oftentimes, these diseases occur as a result of altered immune response in the lung. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-activated transcription factor, acts as a regulator of mucosal barrier function and may influence immune responsiveness in lung diseases through changes in gene expression, cell-cell adhesion, mucin production, and cytokine expression. Of these cytokines, interleukin 22 (IL-22) signaling appears to be involved in lung inflammation and fibrosis, and both endogenous and exogenous AhR agonists promote IL-22 expression. Therefore, this chapter discusses the role of the AhR pathway and IL-22 signaling in lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, idiopathic fibrosis, Sarcoidosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and silicosis. Finally, we address the therapeutic potential of targeting the AhR—IL-22 axis in regulating immunity, inflammation, and tissue homeostasis in lung diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular and Integrative Toxicology
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media B.V.
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameMolecular and Integrative Toxicology
ISSN (Print)2168-4219
ISSN (Electronic)2168-4235


  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patient
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis


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