Asthma is a generalized term that describes a scope of distinct pathologic phenotypes of variable severity, which share a common complication of reversible airflow obstruction. Asthma is estimated to affect almost 400 million people worldwide, and nearly ten percent of asthmatics have what is considered “severe” disease. The majority of moderate to severe asthmatics present with a “type 2-high” (T2-hi) phenotypic signature, which pathologically is driven by the type 2 cytokines Interleukin-(IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13. However, “type 2-low” (T2-lo) phenotypic signatures are often associated with more severe, steroid-refractory neutrophilic asthma. A wide range of clinical and experimental studies have found that the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergic airway disease (AAD). Current experimental data indicates that RAGE is a critical mediator of the type 2 inflammatory reactions which drive the development of T2-hi AAD. However, clinical studies demonstrate that increased RAGE ligands and signaling strongly correlate with asthma severity, especially in severe neutrophilic asthma. This review presents an overview of the current understandings of RAGE in asthma pathogenesis, its role as a biomarker of disease, and future implications for mechanistic studies, and potential therapeutic intervention strategies.
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