A role for eosinophils in airway remodelling in asthma

Trends Immunol. 2004 Sep;25(9):477-82. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2004.07.006.


Over the years, the role of the eosinophil in asthma and allergic processes has been disputed. Recent human experiments using a humanised monoclonal antibody to interleukin-5 (IL-5), and animal studies involving specific IL-5 gene deletion, indicates that eosinophils might control downstream repair and remodelling processes. Eosinophils are a rich source of fibrogenic factors, particularly transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), the latent form of which is activated by epithelial-cell expression of the intergin alpha(v)beta(6). The emerging role for the eosinophil in airway remodelling might be important in future anti-asthma strategies. However, more effective eosinophil-depleting agents than anti-IL-5 are required before the definitive role of this cell type in asthma airway pathophysiology can be established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-5 / immunology
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Interleukin-5
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta