OBJECTIVE. Many chronic diseases exhibit characteristic pulmonary distribution patterns, but the underlying biologic explanations remain elusive. On the basis of emerging evidence from systems biology, we propose that gradients of T helper immune function exist as an epiphenomenon of the hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction response. Regional variation of immune function may contribute to preferential distribution patterning of lung diseases. CONCLUSION. The lungs represent but one example in which the distribution of immune function throughout the body may explain disease location. This hypothetic framework can apply to diseases outside the realm of pulmonary biology and illustrates the potential benefit of integrating advances in systems biology and medical imaging.
- Adrenal gland
- Autonomic system
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Pulmonary sarcoidosis helper
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging