Return to content in this issue


Eosinophils: Old Players in a New Game

Sastre B1,2, Rodrigo-Muñoz JM1,2, Garcia-Sanchez DA1, Cañas JA1,2, del Pozo V1,2

1Department of Immunology, IIS-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain
2CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Madrid, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2018; Vol 28(5) : 289-304
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0295

Eosinophils are terminal polymorphonuclear cells with a high number of cytoplasmic granules that originate in bone marrow. Some are exosomes, which contain multiple molecules, such as specific eosinophilic proteins, cytokines, chemokines, enzymes, and lipid mediators that contribute to the effector role of these cells. Moreover, exosomes present a large number of receptors that allow them to interact with multiple cell types. Eosinophils play an important role in defense against infestations and are a key element in asthma and allergic diseases. Eosinophils are recruited to the inflamed area in response to stimuli, modulating the immune response through the release to the extracellular medium of their granule-derived content. Various mechanisms of degranulation have been identified. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes contain multivesicular bodies that generate exosomes that are secreted into the extracellular environment. Eosinophilic exosomes participate in multiple processes and mechanisms. Eosinophils participate actively in asthma and are hallmarks of the disease. The cells migrate to the inflammatory focus and contribute to epithelial damage and airway remodeling. Given their relevance in this pathology, new therapeutic tools have been developed that target mainly eosinophils and their receptors.
In this manuscript, we provide a global, updated vision of the biology of eosinophils and the role of eosinophils in respiratory diseases, particularly asthma. We also summarize asthma treatments linked to eosinophils and new therapeutic strategies based on biological products in which eosinophils and their receptors are the main targets.

Key words: Eosinophils, Exosomes, Asthma, Biological treatments