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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Leucocytes in asthma.

A diagrammatic representation of the interactions between mediators of hypersensitivity and leucocytes in early-, late-phase, and ongoing asthma is shown in Fig. 1. Early-phase or immediate reactions are largely the result of bronchoconstriction consequent to the release of mediators such as histamine, PGD2, LTC4/D4 and PAF. The principal mediator cell (MC) is the mast cell (although other IgE receptor-bearing cells such as the macrophage, eosinophil and platelet might also be involved in this immediate response). The stimulus for mediator cell activation may be either immunologic (IgE-dependent) or non-immunologic (i.e. changes in osmolarity as a result of the respiratory water loss associated with exercise-induced asthma). Late-phase reactions appear to be a consequence of infiltration with neutrophils (N), eosinophils (E) and macrophages (MO). These cells are recruited and activated either by mast cell-associated chemotactic factors [such as LTB4, PAF, the eosinophil chemotactic factor of anaphylaxis (ECF-A) or high molecular weight neutrophil chemotactic activity ( NCA (HMW]] and/or "lymphokines" derived from T helper cells ( TH) which have been stimulated by antigen processed by the antigen processing cells (APC). These mononuclear cell interactions are under the control of regulatory T cells [T suppressor ( TS) cells] and it is speculated that the availability of these subsets may determine the magnitude of the late-phase response. Lymphokines and monokines which selectively activate neutrophils, eosinophils and monocytes include LIF, EAF and INF-gamma respectively. Macrophage-derived tumour necrosis factor (TNF) also amplifies the inflammatory response by its capacity to enhance eosinophil cytotoxicity. Eosinophil-derived agents such as PAF, LTC4, MBP and ECP might be responsible for submucosal oedema and non-specific bronchial hyperreactivity which are characteristic features of late-phase reactions. T cell-derived lymphokines such as EDF (IL-5), together with GM-CSF, might lead to eosinophilopoiesis and account for the prolonged eosinophilia of ongoing chronic asthma. The T cell is prominent in the pathology of chronic asthma and is possibly "chronically activated". Thus lymphocytes, driven by as yet undetermined "antigens" (possibly viral), may perpetuate the inflammatory response in and around the bronchi. IL-5-like products from these putative activated lymphocytes might perpetuate (a) eosinophil production by the bone marrow, (b) its release into the circulation, (c) its migration into bronchial tissue and (d) activation to release PAF, LTC4, MBP, etc.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. Leucocytes in asthma. Kay, A.B. Immunol. Invest. (1988) [Pubmed]
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