Eotaxin: an Eosinophil Chemoattractant
Summary Investigators at Harvard Medical School have isolated and functionally characterized eotaxin, a novel mammalian chemokine that regulates migration of eosinophils, a class of leukocytes known to travel up chemokine concentration gradients created by the expression of well-characterized, general signaling molecules that include interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interleukin 5 (IL-5). The migration of eosinophils into wounds or other inflamed sites results in tissue damage and delayed healing. At the same time, eosinophil influx into sites of tumor cell growth is a favorable prognostic indicator.
Eotaxin-based compositions, diagnostic- and drug-screening assays and therapeutic methods are directed at inflammatory, respiratory and malignant diseases, including Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, allergy, parasitic infections, wound healing and cancer.
Unlike globally-active chemokines, eotaxin may be modulated with low risk of side effects. This versatile invention offers animal and in vitro models for the assay of eotaxin modulators in drug discovery methods. In addition, measurement of eoxtaxin levels enables simple diagnostic screening or disease monitoring for asthma and can be used as a predictive index of inflammatory damage or tumor growth inhibition, either before or during a course of treatment.
Applications Treatment and diagnosis of inflammatory, respiratory and malignant diseases; drug screening.
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