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Ultra-sensitive IL-5

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Interleukin 5 (IL-5) is also known as B-cell growth factor II. IL-5 is pleiotropic cytokine that is primarily produced by TH2 cells and eosinophils. It plays important roles in promoting the differentiation of B-cells into immunoglobulin-secreting cells, stimulating IgA secretion, and activating eosinophils. IL-5 is involved in the pathology of allergic diseases and is a key target for drugs developed to treat severe asthma. Levels of IL-5 are typically low in the blood of healthy people, so measuring this cytokine in serum or plasma may require an ultra-sensitive assay. Ultra-sensitive versions of assays CANNOT be multiplexed.

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Name: Ultra-sensitive Interleukin 5 (IL-5)
Category: Health & Inflammation
Type of test: Blood

Interleukin-5 (IL-5) is also known as B-cell growth factor II. In addition to stimulating B cell expansion and the secretion of antibodies, IL-5 possess a number of other functions that have implications for the host immune response to infection and allergy. The location of the IL-5 gene (chromosome 5) is near the genes that regulate IL-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which are often expressed alongside IL-5 on T helper 2 (Th2) cells. IL-5 expression is modulated by a number of different transcription factors including, but not limited to, GATA3. 

IL-5 is perhaps best known for its role in promoting allergic responses. IL-5 regulates the activation of granulocytes involved in generating allergic inflammation, namely eosinophils. Non-allergic conditions that involve excessive eosinophil production, such as Hodgkin lymphoma, are also exacerbated by IL-5 signaling. In addition to eosinophils, IL-5 is expressed on mast cells which degranulate in response to the detection of allergens, further increasing localized vasodilation and inflammation. Given its contribution to allergic diseases through promoting eosinophilia, IL-5 is a target for drugs designed to treat severe eosinophil-driven allergic and asthmatic conditions. 

Although much of the research on IL-5 has focused on its contribution to allergic pathology, it is also important for the immune response to infectious microorganisms. For example, Th2-dominant cytokines, such as IL-5, play an important role in the body’s defenses against parasites, such as Toxocara canis.  In enhancing B cell growth and antibody production, IL-5 also acts as a link between the innate and adaptive immune systems. IL-2 can be measured in both saliva and blood. The extent to which serum / plasma and salivary levels of this cytokine correlate is yet to be confirmed.

Ma, G., Holland, C. V., Wang, T., Hofmann, A., Fan, C. K., Maizels, R. M., ... & Gasser, R. B. (2018). Human toxocariasis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases18, e14-e24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28781085/

Horikawa, K., & Takatsu, K. (2006). Interleukin‐5 regulates genes involved in B‐cell terminal maturation. Immunology118, 497-508. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1782313/

Sanderson, C. J. (1992). Interleukin-5, eosinophils, and disease. Blood79, 3101-3109. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1596561/

Takatsu, K. (2011). Interleukin-5 and IL-5 receptor in health and diseases. Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B87, 463-485. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3313690/

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