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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • eosinophils;
  • eotaxin;
  • inflammation;
  • interleukin-5

In spite of the progress regarding the description of immunological phenomena associated with atopic dermatitis (AD), the pathogenesis of this disease still remains unclear. The presence of eosinophils in the inflammatory infiltrate of AD has long been established. Eosinophil numbers as well as eosinophil granule protein levels in peripheral blood are elevated in most AD patients and appear to correlate with disease activity. Moreover, eosinophil granule proteins, which possess cytotoxic activity, are deposited in the skin lesions. These observations indicate a role of eosinophils in the pathogenesis of AD. Furthermore, AD is associated with increased production of T helper 2 cytokines including interleukin (IL)-5, which specifically acts on eosinophils, resulting in accelerated eosinophilopoiesis, chemotaxis, cell activation, and delayed apoptosis. Therefore, IL-5 is an interesting target for experimental therapy in this inflammatory disorder of the skin. Such studies might result in new insights into the pathogenetic role of eosinophils in AD.