There is considerable evidence that T-helper 2 (Th2) cells play a central role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma, hay fever or food allergy. The differentiation of naïve T cells into Th2 cells producing a specific pattern of cytokines is tightly controlled and regulated by transcription factors. Thus down-regulation of mRNAlevels of a single transcription factor leads to a “knock-down” of several mediators simultaneously, representing an advantage compared to earlier approaches involving down-regulation of one intercellular inflammatory mediator, which is unlikely to influence all pathophysiological aspects of the disease. We review the impact of specific and master transcription factors involved in Th2 cell commitment and evaluate approaches for the down-regulation of these proteins by degradation of their mRNA using nucleic-acid based technologies including antisense oligonucleotides, ribozymes, DNAzymes, decoys oligonucleotides and RNA interference.
Keywords: Nucleic-acid based technology, antisense, therapeutic tool, transcription factor, allergy, asthma
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