Mechanisms of glucocorticoid action and insensitivity in airways disease

C. Boardman, L. Chachi, A. Gavrila, C.R. Keenan, M. M. Perry, Y. C. Xia, H. Meurs, P. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glucocorticoids are the mainstay for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, it has been recognized that glucocorticoids do not work well in certain patient populations suggesting reduced sensitivity. The ultimate biologic responses to glucocorticoids are determined by not only the concentration of glucocorticoids but also the differences between individuals in glucocorticoid sensitivity, which is influenced by multiple factors. Studies are emerging to understand these mechanisms in detail, which would help in increasing glucocorticoid sensitivity in patients with chronic airways disease. This review aims to highlight both classical and emerging concepts of the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of glucocorticoids and also review some novel strategies to overcome steroid insensitivity in airways disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number2
Early online date9 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • glucocorticoid
  • combination therapy
  • steroid resistance
  • inflammation
  • chronic airway diseases
  • asthma


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