Scientists In Britain claim to have identified a key element in the development of chronic asthma.
Remodeling occurs when the small airways in the lungs of people change gradually with time as their lungs respond to the presence of particles such as dust, pollen and mould in the air they breathe.
Scientists from King's College London and Imperial College London said that an important aspect of airway remodeling is changes to the muscle cells, which line the airways.
In people with asthma, these cells tend to multiply and become larger, increasing their ability to squeeze the airways and cause breathing difficulties.
There is no known way of reversing airway remodeling once it has occurred.
"It is widely believed that this remodeling in Asthma is in large part responsible for the chronicity of the disease," said Professor Tak Lee, Head of the Division of Asthma and Allergy Research at King's, who led the research.
"There are many features responsible for remodeling but a key component of this process involves an increased amount of smooth muscle in the airways," Lee added.
The study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.