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Bronchial asthma and interleukin-5
- Undurti Das1
© Biomed Central Ltd 2001
- Received: 22 February 2001
- Published: 18 September 2001
Allergic bronchial asthma is an inflammatory disease characterized by eosinophilia. This inflammatory response is believed to be due to an imbalance between Th1 and Th2 responses. Th1 cells produce predominantly interferon-? and interleukin (IL)-2, whereas Th2 cells produce IL-4, -5, -9 and -13. Increased production of IL-5 causes eosinophilia, whereas IL-4 and IL-13 enhance the production of IgE. In asthma, there is an increase in IL-5 production, and it is known that increased serum IL-5 is associated with a fall in the FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 s). Hence, it is logical to think that monoclonal antibody to IL-5 could be of benefit in asthma.
Although monoclonal antibody to IL-5 lowered the number of blood eosinophils for up to 16 weeks and the number of sputum eosinophils at 4 weeks, no significant change in the late asthmatic response or in airway hyperresponsiveness to histamine was noted. Hence, the authors suggested that eosinophils might not have a major role in the pathobiology of asthma.
Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, human trial in mild asthma; intravenous infusion of humanized monoclonal antibodies; inhaled allergen challenge.
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