Interactions between epithelial, mesenchymal, and neural tissue and also the extracellular matrix are necessary to initiate numerous cellular functions of the lung (1). The most common of these functions include differentiation during lung growth, repair of damaged tissue, and regulation of the inflammatory response. Each of these processes requires a localized response to a specific stimulus. Fibroblasts, especially those in close proximity to the airway epithelium, are likely regulators of local responses. In a recent commentary, Smith and colleagues discussed the possibility that resident fibroblasts may act as sentinel cells for these responses (2). In addition to their role as connective tissue cells, fibroblasts also produce cytokines and chemokines in response to various stimuli. Their fixed position in the tissue suggests that they can respond in a loca
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