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Front. Med. | doi: 10.3389/fmed.2018.00049

Targeting the interleukin-5 pathway for treatment of eosinophilic conditions other than asthma.

  • 1Internal Medicine, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Improved understanding of the contribution of eosinophils to various chronic inflammatory conditions, most notably allergic asthma, has encouraged development of monoclonal antibodies specifically targeting mediators and surface receptors involved in eosinophil expansion and activation. The pivotal role of interleukin-5 (IL-5) in eosinophil biology, its high specificity for this leucocyte subset, and its involvement in the majority of eosinophilic conditions make it a very enticing target for treatment of eosinophil-mediated disorders. Two types of antibodies have been developed to target eosinophils: antibodies against IL-5 (mepolizumab and reslizumab), and an antibody against the IL-5-receptor-alpha-chain (IL-5Rα) (benralizumab). Both types of antibodies prevent IL-5 from engaging its receptor and in addition, anti-IL-5Rα antibodies induce target cell lysis. They have been shown to reduce circulating eosinophil counts rapidly in humans with various disorders.
Herein, a brief overview of the role of IL-5 in eosinophil biology will be presented, followed by a description of the development and characteristics of antibodies targeting IL-5 or its receptor. Results of clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of these new antibodies in diseases (other than eosinophilic asthma) with prominent tissue eosinophilia are reviewed, followed by safety considerations and potential future applications.

Keywords: benralizumab, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, EGPA, Hypereosinophilic Syndrome, Interleukin-5, Mepolizumab, Nasal polyposis, Reslizumab

Received: 05 Dec 2017; Accepted: 09 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Calman Prussin, Knopp Biosciences LLC, United States

Reviewed by:

Sameer Mathur, University of Wisconsin System, United States
Oral Alpan, Amerimmune, LLC, United States
Thanai Pongdee, Mayo Clinic Minnesota, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Roufosse. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Florence E. Roufosse, Université libre de Bruxelles, Internal Medicine, 808 Route de lennik, Brussels, 1070, Belgium,