Epithelial-Derived Cytokines in Asthma
The interaction between the airway epithelium and the inhaled environment is crucial to understanding the pathobiology of asthma. Several studies have identified an important role of airway epithelial-derived cytokines, IL-25, IL-33, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in asthma pathogenesis. These cytokines have been described as epithelial-derived alarmins that activate and potentiate the innate and humoral arms of the immune system in the presence of actual or perceived damage. Each of the three epithelial-derived alarmins has been implicated in the pathobiology of inhaled allergen-induced airway responses. The best evidence to date exists for TSLP, in that a human monoclonal antibody, which binds TSLP and prevents its engagement with its receptor, resolves airway inflammation in patients with allergic asthma and attenuates allergen-induced airway responses. Better understanding the roles that the epithelial-derived alarmins play and how they influence airway immune response may allow the development of novel therapeutics for asthma treatment.