The excessive accumulation of granulocytes is believed to constitute an important factor in inflammatory airway diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Notably, T helper (Th) cells are known to produce cytokines that are involved in the mobilization of eosinophils and neutrophils. Currently, it is believed that a third population of Th cells, the recently described Th17 population, accounts for the production of several members of the interleukin (IL)-17 family of cytokines. The members of this cytokine family have proven abilities to recruit and activate neutrophils and eosiniphils. This review summarizes the evidence that these cytokines constitute key mediators of the Th-controlled granulocyte influx in airway disease and points out molecular target candidates for therapy as well as related patents.
Keywords: IL-17, IL-25, neutrophil, eosinophil, airway, lung
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