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Keywords:

  • airway remodeling;
  • allergy;
  • asthma;
  • IL-9;
  • TGF-beta;
  • Th2

Summary

Helper CD4+ T-cell subsets have improved our understanding of adaptive immunity in humans and in animal models of disease. These include T helper type 1 (Th1), Th2 and the interleukin-17 (IL-17) -producing population ‘Th17’. Th2 cells have been described as orchestrating the immune response in allergic disease based on studies with patient samples and animal models. The cytokine IL-9 has largely been regarded as a Th2 cytokine that makes multifocal contributions to allergic disease. Recent data suggest that under certain conditions relevant to chronic disease (IL-4 and transforming growth factor-β), a distinct population of IL-9-producing ‘Th9’ helper T cells can exist. The contribution of Th9 cells in allergic disease is currently unknown, and this review will propose a model for how these cells may regulate chronic allergic inflammation.