T Cell Trafficking in Allergic Asthma: The Ins and Outsby Benjamin D. Medoff
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T cells are critical mediators of the allergic airway inflammation seen in asthma. Pathogenic allergen-specific T cells are generated in regional lymph nodes and are then recruited into the airway by chemoattractants produced by the asthmatic lung. These recruited effector T cells and their products then mediate the cardinal features of asthma: airway eosinophilia, mucus hypersecretion, and airway hyperreactivity. There has been considerable progress in delineating the molecular mechanisms that control T cell trafficking into peripheral tissue, including the asthmatic lung. In this review, we summarize these advances and formulate them into a working model that proposes that T cell trafficking into and out of the allergic lung is controlled by several discrete regulatory pathways that involve the collaboration of innate and acquired immune cells.
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