In the complex pathogenesis of airway inflammation seen in asthma, several cytokines are recognized to play a crucial role. Modulation of the effect of these cytokines can provide alternative and more specific treatment approach to currently widely-used systemic immunosuppression by glucocorticoids. Theoretically, cytokine modulation can be achieved via several pathways, including inhibition of released cytokines by using antibodies or soluble receptors, blocking cytokine receptors, inhibiting signal transduction or preventing cytokine gene transcription. Also, some cytokines are known to possess anti-inflammatory effects in allergic inflammation, being thus themselves potentially used as a therapeutic agent. The current review discusses the present knowledge on the involvement of cytokines in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma and the experience on modulation of the effect of these cytokines in clinical situations.
Keywords: anti-allergic, immunosuppression, allergic asthma, cytokine modulation, ova sensitization
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