Asthma, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyposis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and related forms of upper and lower airway diseases are often characterized by eosinophilic and basophilic inflammation, involving systemic processes. Eosinophil/basophil (Eo/B) lineage-committed progenitor cells in cord blood, peripheral blood, bone marrow, lung tissue, and sputum are up-regulated in the above conditions, and respond to allergen and other stimuli with increased differentiative and migratory capacity. A considerable body of evidence now exists showing that activation of such Eo/B-selective hemopoietic processes is not only associated with the onset and maintenance of allergic inflammation in atopic adults, but also with the development of the allergic diathesis. Moreover, eosinophilopoietic processes within hemopoietic compartments and, importantly, at mucosal tissue sites during an allergic inflammatory response provide novel targets for the treatment of allergy as a systemic process and disease.
Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. denburg [at] mcmaster.ca
Chest. 2008 Nov;134(5):1037-43
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