The role of eosinophils in the pathophysiology of asthma

William Calhoun, J. Sedgwick, W. W. Busse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

From current information, a number of conclusions can be drawn. Antigen activation of the allergic reaction in the airways is associated with an immediate rise in mast cell derived mediators, including histamine and tryptase. Associated with antigen activation of the allergic reaction is recruitment of eosinophils to the airways. This can best be seen in the airway lavage 48 hours after challenge with antigen. An increased presence of eosinophils suggests that they are an important contributor to the late allergic reaction and may be one of the major constituents in the development of bronchial inflammation. Although many factors participate in the late allergic inflammatory response, eosinophil-derived proteins are known to cause airway injury. Regulation of eosinophils in this process is not clearly established; however, our findings of increased IL-5 in relationship to the presence of eosinophils and their granular proteins suggests that this cytokine may be an important modulator of eosinophil function and activation following allergen challenge. However, much remains unknown in understanding bronchial inflammation and the eosinophil's role in the process. In conclusion, the eosinophil is a major cellular participant in late phase allergic airway disease. Its presence and known functions suggest that the eosinophil is a significant cellular factor in the development of allergic airways disease in asthma. Further advances in this area will follow continued studies, particularly those which involve biopsy and correlation with airway physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume629
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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Eosinophils
Asthma
Chemical activation
Antigens
Hypersensitivity
Tryptases
Biopsy
Interleukin-5
Physiology
Inflammation
Activation
Allergens
Histamine
Modulators
Therapeutic Irrigation
Proteins
Mast Cells
Cytokines
Protein
Wounds and Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

The role of eosinophils in the pathophysiology of asthma. / Calhoun, William; Sedgwick, J.; Busse, W. W.

In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 629, 1991, p. 62-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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