Cytokines are glycoproteins that are secreted and that regulate immunologic inflammation. The cytokine system is characterized by much redundancy and cross-reactivity. Of the more than 100 cytokines that have been identified, interleukin-5 (IL-5) and the chemokine (chemotactic cytokine), eotaxin, are the most selective for cells of eosinophilic origin. Because of this relative specificity, and because of their important immunoregulatory roles, IL-5, eotaxin, and their receptors IL-5R and CCR3 are potential targets for non-glucocorticosteroid pharmacological treatment of eosinophilic inflammation.
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