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Keywords:

  • eosinophils;
  • IL-3;
  • IL-5;
  • non-IgE;
  • T cells

Abstract

The cytokines IL-5, IL-3, and GM-CSF are crucial for eosinophil development, survival, and function. To better understand their role in non-IgE-mediated eosinophilic diseases, we investigated plasma levels of these cytokines as well as cytokine expression in peripheral blood T cells. While we did not find any evidence for an involvement of T-cell-derived GM-CSF, some of these patients did show an increased proportion of IL-5- or IL-3-producing CD4+ T cells. However, in a significant proportion of patients, IL-5-producing CD8+ T cells, so-called Tc2 cells, which in healthy donors can only be detected at very low levels, were prominent. Furthermore, increased IL-3 production by CD8+ T cells was also observed, strongly supporting the notion that CD8+ T cells, not just CD4+ T cells, must also be considered as a potential source of the cytokines promoting eosinophilia.