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J Immunol. 1997 Nov 1;159(9):4593-601.

Increased expression of eotaxin in bronchoalveolar lavage and airways of asthmatics contributes to the chemotaxis of eosinophils to the site of inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Presently, there is considerable evidence for the participation of eosinophils in the pathophysiology of human bronchial asthma. Although increased numbers of eosinophils are present in the airways and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of atopic asthmatics, the mechanisms responsible for their preferential accumulation are still largely unknown. Eotaxin is a chemokine that promotes the selective recruitment of eosinophils. We report that atopic asthmatic patients have high concentrations of eotaxin in BAL fluid and an increased expression of eotaxin mRNA and protein in the epithelium and submucosa of their airways when compared with normal controls. In the BAL cells from asthmatic patients, eotaxin immunoreactivity colocalized predominantly to macrophages (62.2%), with a lesser contribution from T cells (16.3%) and eosinophils (8.9%). BAL fluid from asthmatics contained chemotactic activity for eosinophils that was attributable in part to the presence of eotaxin. Moreover, eotaxin was more effective at inducing in vitro eosinophil chemotaxis when eosinophils were stimulated with IL-5 (a cytokine that enhances the effector capacity of mature eosinophils). These observations suggest that eotaxin contributes to the pathogenesis of asthma by the specific recruitment of eosinophils into the airways.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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