Editors' ChoiceImmunology

A Sigh of Relief

Science's STKE  21 Mar 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 24, pp. tw5
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.24.tw5

Asthma is caused by exposure to certain substances in the environment that lead to inappropriately severe allergic reaction in the lung. These environmental antigens trigger the activation of immunoglobulin E, which activates mast cells. One of the inflammation-inducing substances released by the mast cells is prostaglandin D2, which Matsuoka et al. demonstrate to cause some of the more severe symptoms of asthma. In prostaglandin D2-deficient mice, fewer T lymphocytes that secrete Th2 cytokines and fewer eosinophils accumulate in the lung, and these mice did not develop the hyperreactive airway response characteristic of asthma attacks. Thus, prostaglandin D2 could prove to be a new therapeutic target against asthma.

Matsuoka, T., Hirata, M., Tanaka, H., Takahashi, Y., Murata, T., Kabashima, K., Sugimoto, Y., Kobayashi, T., Ushikubi, F., Aze, Y., Eguchi, N., Urade, Y., Yoshida, N., Kimura, K., Mizoguchi, A., Honda, Y., Nagai, H., and Narumiya, S. (2000) Prostaglandin D2 as a mediator of allergic asthma. Science 287: 2013-2017. [Abstract] [Full Text]