Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating lung disease characterised by airflow limitation, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and airway remodelling. Cigarette smoke is considered the primary risk factor for the development of COPD; however, genetic factors, host responses and infection also play an important role. Accumulating evidence highlights a role for iron dyshomeostasis and cellular iron accumulation in the lung as a key contributing factor in the development and pathogenesis of COPD. Recent studies have also shown that mitochondria, the central players in cellular iron utilisation, are dysfunctional in respiratory cells in individuals with COPD, with alterations in mitochondrial bioenergetics and dynamics driving disease progression. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the dysfunction of mitochondria and cellular iron metabolism in the lung may unveil potential novel investigational avenues and therapeutic targets to aid in the treatment of COPD.

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