, Volume 56, Issue 2-3, pp 249-260
Date: 12 Apr 2013

Eosinophilic esophagitis: an immune-mediated esophageal disease

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Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an emerging disease defined by esophageal dysfunction, by typical endoscopic findings and by abnormal eosinophilic inflammation within the esophagus. Eosinophilic accumulation in the esophagus occurs as a result of esophageal overexpression of pro-inflammatory mediators, including T cells and mast cells, cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-13, IL-5 and IL-15, as well as chemoattractants (eotaxin and transforming growth factor-β1, fibroblast growth factor and the newly characterized gene—thymic stromal lymphopoietin, which is a key regulator of allergic sensitization initiation). The role of allergy, particularly food allergy in EoE is indisputable, as elimination diet is a proven commonly used treatment for the disease. However, unlike classical immediate IgE-mediated reaction to allergen, EoE is associated with an altered immune response, characterized by a combination of IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated mechanisms. In this review, we aim to discuss the many typical aspects of EoE as opposed to other entities involving the esophagus, with focusing on the aberrant immune-mediated key players contributing to the pathogenesis of this unique disease.