[Anti-interleukin-5 therapy for eosinophilic diseases]

Hautarzt. 2007 Feb;58(2):122, 124-7. doi: 10.1007/s00105-006-1273-x.
[Article in German]


In a number of diseases with eosinophilia, elevated interleukin (IL)-5 levels are detected in the peripheral blood and/or tissues. IL-5 plays an important role in regulating the production, differentiation, recruitment, activation, and survival of eosinophils. Therefore, neutralizing IL-5 by blocking antibodies seems a promising approach in the treatment of eosinophilic diseases. Clinical trials have demonstrated that anti-IL-5 therapy results in a rapid decrease in peripheral blood eosinophil numbers. Moreover, improvement of symptoms in patients with lymphocytic variants of hypereosinophilic syndromes, in eosinophilic esophagitis and chronic rhinitis with nasal polyposis has been observed. In contrast, in patients with bronchial asthma or atopic eczema, anti-IL-5 therapy showed only moderate or no clinical effects. Future studies will have to identify those eosinophilic diseases in which anti-IL-5 antibodies are effective, perhaps with the help of newly developed biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Eosinophilia / drug therapy*
  • Eosinophilia / immunology
  • Eosinophils / drug effects
  • Eosinophils / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hypereosinophilic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Hypereosinophilic Syndrome / immunology
  • Interleukin-5 / immunology*
  • Leukocyte Count


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Interleukin-5
  • reslizumab
  • mepolizumab