Cytokine-regulated accumulation of eosinophils in inflammatory disease

Allergy. 2004 Aug;59(8):793-805. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00469.x.


The role of cytokines in the accumulation of eosinophil granulocytes in inflamed tissue has been studied extensively during recent years, and these molecules have been found to participate throughout the whole process of eosinophil recruitment. Haematopoietic cytokines such as IL-3, IL-5 and GM-CSF stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of eosinophils in the bone marrow, and the release of mature eosinophils from the bone marrow into the blood is probably promoted by IL-5. Priming of eosinophils in the blood following, for example, allergen challenge is performed mainly by IL-3, IL-5 and GM-CSF. An important step in the extravasation of eosinophils is their adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Adhesion molecules are upregulated by, e.g. IL-1, IL-4, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma and the same cytokines may also increase the affinity of adhesion molecules both on eosinophils and endothelial cells. Finally, a number of cytokines have been shown to act as eosinophil chemotactic factors, attracting the cells to the inflammatory focus in the tissue. Some of the most important eosinophil chemoattractant cytokines are IL-5, IL-8, RANTES, eotaxin, eotaxin-2, eotaxin-3, MCP-3, MCP-4 and TNF-alpha. Th2 cells, mast cells and epithelial cells are important sources of proinflammatory cytokines, but in recent years, the eosinophils have also been recognized as cytokine-producing and thereby immunoregulatory cells. The aim of this paper is to review the role of cytokines in the process of eosinophil recruitment in asthma, allergy and ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemotaxis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / immunology*
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Eosinophils / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Serum Albumin / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • Serum Albumin