Differences and similarities between the upper and lower airway: Focusing on innate immunity

Hyung Ju Cho, Jong Gyun Ha, Sang Nam Lee, Chang Hoon Kim, De Yun Wang, Joo Heon Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The nose is the first respiratory barrier to external pathogens, allergens, pollutants, or cigarette smoke, and vigorous immune responses are triggered when external pathogens come in contact with the nasal epithelium. The mucosal epithelial cells of the nose are essential to the innate immune response against external pathogens and transmit signals that modulate the adaptive immune response. The upper and lower airways share many physiological and immunological features, but there are also numerous differences. It is crucial to understand these differences and their contribution to pathophysiology in order to optimize treatments for inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract. This review summarizes important differences in the embryological development, histological features, microbiota, immune responses, and cellular subtypes of mucosal epithelial cells of the nose and lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-450
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Global Research Laboratory Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Future Planning grant 2016K1A1A2910779 (J.-H.Y.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, International Rhinologic Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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