Eosinophil infiltration into the gastrointestinal tract occurs in a wide range of diseases. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in eosinophil migration and the role of eosinophils in disease pathogenesis are largely unknown. Recent studies using experimental models of eosinophil-associated gastrointestinal allergy have revealed differential roles for IL-5 and eotaxin in the modulation of eosinophil accumulation into various regions of the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, such studies have revealed a possible role for eosinophils in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal disorders. The present review describes the clinical manifestations of various eosinophil-associated gastrointestinal disorders and the current understanding of the role of IL-5 and eotaxin in the allergic inflammatory response, and the participation of the eosinophilic granulocyte in the expression of disease.
aDivision of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia and bDivision of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Correspondence to Simon P. Hogan, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, 0200, Australia. Tel: +61 02 6125 2940; fax: +61 02 6125 0415; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org