What is the primary function of eosinophils? Regulatory or anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory? Results with IL-5 knockout mice and with IL-5R alpha knockout mice clearly show that (I) eosinophils play key roles as cellular mediators in asthma and allergy, and that (2) IL-5 is necessary for the participation of eosinophils in allergic inflammation (Foster PS et al. J Exp Med 183:195–201, 1996; Tanaka H et al. Clin Exp Allergy 30:874–881, 2000). The results obtained with IL-5 knockout mice and with IL-5R alpha knockout mice can be used to guide and inform asthma and allergy research in humans.
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