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Pharmacology. 2010;85(6):372-82. doi: 10.1159/000313836. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

CRTH2 and D-type prostanoid receptor antagonists as novel therapeutic agents for inflammatory diseases.

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Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


Accumulation of type 2 T helper (Th2) lymphocytes and eosinophils is a hallmark of bronchial asthma and other allergic diseases, and it is believed that these cells play a crucial pathogenic role in allergic inflammation. Thus, Th2 cells and eosinophils are currently considered a major therapeutic target in allergic diseases and asthma. However, drugs that selectively target the accumulation and activation of Th2 cells and eosinophils in tissues are unavailable so far. Prostaglandin (PG)D(2) is a key mediator in various inflammatory diseases including allergy and asthma. It is generated by activated mast cells after allergen exposure and subsequently orchestrates the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the tissue. PGD(2) induces the chemotaxis of Th2 cells, basophils and eosinophils, stimulates cytokine release from these cells and prolongs their survival, and might hence indirectly promote IgE production. PGD(2) mediates its biologic functions via 2 distinct G protein-coupled receptors, D-type prostanoid receptor (DP), and the chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2). DP and CRTH2 receptors are currently being considered as highly promising therapeutic targets for combating allergic diseases and asthma. Here, we revisit the roles of PGD(2) receptors in the regulation of eosinophil and Th2 cell function and the efforts towards developing candidate compounds for clinical evaluation.

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