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Immunomodulators in the treatment of asthma

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Asthma represents a syndrome of airway inflammatory diseases with a complex pathology. The immunologic pathogenesis is being increasingly revealed and provides opportunity for targeted biological intervention. This study was designed to describe current experience with immunomodulators as targeted therapy in asthma. A literature review was performed. Targeted therapies have included strategies to activate dendritic cells through the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 receptors, to interrupt the action of TH2 cytokines with cytokine blockers and monoclonal antibodies, to promote development of TH1 responses, to interrupt mast cell signaling, to block IgE mediated pathways, and to block TNF-alpha. Omalizumab is the only biological therapy that has an approved indication in asthma at this time. Improved understanding of the heterogeneity of asthma should allow for specific targeting of different disease phenotype-specific therapies including immunomodulators.

Keywords: Airway inflammation; IgE; TH1 cells; TH2 cells; asthma; cytokine blockers; dendritic cell; immunomodulators; monoclonal antibodies; omalizumab

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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