Considerable research indicates that many cells of the asthmatic airway become dysfunctional. There is clear evidence for epithelial and airway smooth muscle cell dysfunction, accumulation of activated T cells, and systemic inflammation effects on peripheral blood granulocytes. A number of studies of airway cells have applied proteomics, resulting in mapped protein profiles of inflammatory cells and increased understanding of potential mechanisms involved in allergic inflammation. The reports described in this review offer many encouraging leads for further detailed analysis of allergic processes. The elucidation of their role in asthma will require the application of novel technologies and insightful biochemical interpretation. There is considerable optimism that comparative proteomic investigation of airway inflammatory cells may provide critical insights into the phenotypes of asthma and will reveal novel mechanistic targets for therapeutic interventions.
Keywords: Cellular proteomics, allergic asthma, airway inflammation, eosinophil, Late allergic reaction, Major histocompability complex, Mass spectrometry, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Vascular cell adhesion molecule, Interleukin, Interferon