Asthma pp 34-54 | Cite as

Cell biology and effector functions of the eosinophil leucocyte in bronchial asthma

  • C. Kroegel
  • J. Ch. VirchowJr.
  • H. Matthys
Conference paper


Increasing evidence has accumulated to suggest that eosinophils play a key role in the pathogenesis of asthma by both damaging respiratory epithelium and generating various mediators of inflammation. Eosino­phil accumulation in the airways takes place at the time of the late allergic response but not during the early reaction. Bronchial eosinophils appear to differ from blood eosinophils in several aspects including density, adhesion and agonist receptor expression as well as cellular reactivity, indicating that eosinophils undergo phenotypic and functional alterations during their migration into the bronchial tissue and lumen. Although BAL eosinophils show a reduced activity, they can regain their respon­siveness through exposure to cytokines which may be produced and secreted during asthmatic inflammation. Hence, cytokines may not only prevent premature programmed eosinophil cell death (apoptosis) in tissue cells but may also augment eosinophil cell function including adhesion, motility and secretory performance. The spectrum and ratio of secreted cytokines on the one hand and lipid mediators on the other may determine the degree of inflammation through their concerted action on the eosinophil leucocyte.


Effector Function Allergy Clin Immunol Eosinophil Cationic Protein Blood Eosinophil Human Eosinophil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zellbiologie und Effektorfunktion des eosinophilen Leukozyten beim Bronchialasthma


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Kroegel
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Ch. VirchowJr.
    • 2
  • H. Matthys
    • 2
  1. 1.Department Pneumology, Me­dical ClinicUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department Pneumology, Medical ClinicsAlbert-Ludwigs-UniversityFreiburg i. Br.Federal Republic of Germany

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