Eosinophils are classically known as proinflammatory cells, as they are equipped with a variety of preformed cytotoxic mediators and have been shown to definitively contribute to asthma. The connection between eosinophils and asthma development has led to a new class of asthma therapeutics based on blocking eosinophils with humanized antibodies that neutralize IL-5, a potent eosinophil growth, activation, and survival factor. Yet, recent studies have led to an increasing appreciation that eosinophils have a variety of homeostatic functions, including immunomodulation. In this issue of the
Marc E. Rothenberg
Schematic diagram of the homeostatic roles of eosinophils.