IL-13 and its genetic variants: effect on current asthma treatments.

Robert G. Townley, Muna Sapkota, Kiran Sapkota

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Airway hyperresponsiveness is an essential part of the definition of asthma associated temporally with exposure to allergens, certain respiratory viruses, pollutants such as ozone, and certain organic chemicals. Interleukin-13 (IL-13) is implicated as a central regulator in immunoglobulin E (IgE) synthesis, mucus hypersecretion, airway hyperresponsiveness, and fibrosis. The importance of IL-13 in allergic disorders in humans is supported by consistent associations between tissue IL-13 levels and genetic variants in the IL-13 gene and asthma and related traits. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in IL-13 are associated with allergic phenotypes in several ethnically diverse populations. Glucocorticoids are anti-inflammatory medications often used as maintenance therapy in acute and chronic asthma; however, some patients with severe asthma are steroid resistant. IL-13 remains elevated in glucocorticoid insensitive asthma but not in glucocorticoid sensitive asthma. Thus targeting IL-13 and its associated receptors may be a therapeutic approach to the treatment of asthma and/or allergy. This review focuses on the role of IL-13 on airway hyperresponsiveness and corticosteroids resistant asthma both preclinically and clinically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-523
Number of pages11
JournalDiscovery medicine
Issue number67
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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