The role of interleukin-9 and the interleukin-9 receptor gene candidates in asthma

  • Roy C. Levitt
  • Michael P McLane
  • Luigi Grasso
  • Nicholas C. Nicolaides
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


It is now generally well accepted that atopic asthma is a complex heritable disorder of the airways in which symptoms depend on environmental exposure [1]. This lung disorder is associated with clinical signs and symptoms of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), an exaggerated narrowing of the airways to provocative stimuli, and eosinophilic inflammation associated with reversible airway obstruction. Significant biologic variability in airway responsiveness occurs in humans, and baseline bronchial hyperresponsiveness is recognized as a heritable risk factor for asthma [2-5]. While significant biologic variability in airway responsiveness in rodents and humans has been observed, little is understood about the genetic regulation of AHR [5]. Moreover, it remains unclear whether or how AHR is associated with an underlying predisposition to eosinophilic airway inflammation. Recently, genetic linkage studies and functional genomics in humans and mice have implicated interleukin-9 (IL-9) and its receptor in the genetics of AHR and asthma [6-15]. In this chapter, we will review evidence supporting a central role for IL-9 as a regulator of AHR and a critical mediator of allergic asthma and mucosal Th2 immunity.


Airway Hyperresponsiveness Airway Responsiveness Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness Eosinophilic Inflammation Pseudoautosomal Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy C. Levitt
    • 1
  • Michael P McLane
    • 1
  • Luigi Grasso
    • 1
  • Nicholas C. Nicolaides
    • 1
  1. 1.Genaera Institute of Molecular MedicineGenarea CorporationPlymouth MeetingUSA

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