Targeting neutrophilic inflammation in severe neutrophilic asthma: can we target the disease-relevant neutrophil phenotype?
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.