The inflammation in the airways of allergic patients is the result of a complex process involving several cytokines. 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. On the other hand, some cytokines are known to possess anti-inflammatory effects in allergic inflammation, being potentially used as a therapeutic agent. The more novel approaches for cytokine modulation include high affinity blockade of cytokines with cytokine traps and use of oligodeoxynucleotides for Th2 type cytokines. The current review addresses cytokine modulation as a strategy in targeting allergic diseases with emphasis on the clinical experience.
Keywords: lymphocytes, interleukin, anti-inflammatory, immunosuppression, allergic asthma, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1
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