Anti-alarmin approaches entering clinical trials
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The alarmins, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), interleukin (IL)-25 and IL-33, are upstream regulators of T2 (type 2) inflammation and found to be expressed at high levels in airway epithelium of patients with T2 asthma. This review will summarize how alarmins regulate the inflamed asthmatic airways through previously described and newly identified mechanisms. RECENT FINDINGS: Alarmins drive allergic and nonallergic asthma through activation of innate lymphoid cell 2 (ILC2), which are a rich source of cytokines such as IL-5 and IL-13, with resulting effects on eosinophilopoeisis and remodelling, respectively. Findings from bronchial allergen challenges have illustrated widespread expression of alarmins and their receptors across many effector cells in airways, and recent studies have emphasized alarmin regulation of CD4 T lymphocytes, eosinophils and basophils, and their progenitors. Furthermore, a link between alarmins and lipid mediators is being uncovered. SUMMARY: Alarmins can drive well defined inflammatory pathways through activation of dendritic cells and polarizing T cells to produce type 2 cytokines, as well as they can directly activate many other effector cells that play a central role in allergic and nonallergic asthma. Clinical trials support a central role for TSLP in driving airway inflammation and asthma exacerbations, while ongoing trials blocking IL-33 and IL-25 will help to define their respective role in asthma.
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