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Recent advances in understanding how interleukin 13 signals are involved in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma

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The prevalence of allergic disease has dramatically increased in recent decades, especially in urban and industralized areas. Allergic disease are disorders of the immune system, the results of complex interactions among various genetic and environmetal factors. Among them, the important role of interleukin 13 (IL-13), a TH2-type cytokine, has recently emerged in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma. Based on studies using mice, great attention has been paid to the direct effects of IL-13 on bronchial tissues. In this review, we describe recent advances in understanding the signal transduction mechanism of IL-13, the infolvement of IL-13 signal-related genes as genetic factors in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma, and the expression of IL-13 receptor on bronchial tissues. We describe potential strategies for targeting IL-13 signals to improve allergic states.
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K. Izuhara, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582 Japan
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