Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by a progressive and largely irreversible restriction of lung function. Shortness of breath, the most often observed symptom of COPD, contributes significantly to the decrease in the quality of life of many patients. Although COPD can, to a certain extent, be avoided, the disease is the fourth most frequent cause of death worldwide. The main causes of this disease are smoking and air pollution.
COPD combined with an emphysema is the most frequently occurring destructive lung disease. The loss of structural integrity and the lung’s ability to regenerate are critical factors for the course of the disease and therapeutic success; the basic mechanisms are, however, hitherto hardly known. The long-term aim of the DZL research in this area is to translate new therapy concepts based on mechanisms into effective treatment for COPD patients.