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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2008 Sep;8(5):443-50.

The role of chemokines in virus-associated asthma exacerbations.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, University of Michigan, 4620 BSRB, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by mast cell activation, mucus hypersecretion, airway obstruction, influx and activation of eosinophils, and generation of a predominant T-helper type 2-based cytokine environment. In individuals with established asthma, acute exacerbations requiring hospitalization result primarily from pulmonary viral infection, such as with influenza, rhinovirus, or respiratory syncytial virus. The mechanism for viral exacerbation of the asthmatic response is unclear, but evidence points to a key role for chemokines, a class of cytokines that are important in leukocyte recruitment, inflammatory cell activation, and T-cell differentiation. In this review, we focus on the chemokines upregulated in acute viral-induced exacerbation and examine their role in promoting the virus-induced pathophysiologic response in asthmatic individuals.

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