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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 609395, 9 pages
Review Article

Th17-Associated Cytokines as a Therapeutic Target for Steroid-Insensitive Asthma

Division of Clinical Medicine, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan

Received 15 March 2013; Accepted 5 December 2013

Academic Editor: Enric Esplugues

Copyright © 2013 Yuko Morishima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Steroid-insensitive asthma is an infrequent but problematic airway disease that presents with persistent symptoms, airflow limitation, or recurrent exacerbations even when treated with steroid-based therapies. Because of unsatisfactory results obtained from currently available therapies for steroid-insensitive asthma, a better understanding of its pathogenesis and the development of new targeted molecular therapies are warranted. Recent studies indicated that levels of interleukin (IL)-17 are increased and both eosinophils and neutrophils infiltrate the airways of severe asthmatics. IL-17 is a proinflammatory cytokine mainly secreted from helper T (Th) 17 cells and is important for the induction of neutrophil recruitment and migration at sites of inflammation. This review focuses on the pathogenetic role of Th17 cells and their associated cytokines in steroid-insensitive asthma and discusses the prospects of novel therapeutic options targeting the Th17 signaling pathway.