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Recent studies of the involvement of the bone marrow in human atopic asthmatic responses to inhaled allergen confirm what we have found in a canine model of Ascaris suuminduced bronchial hyperresponsiveness: CD34/45+ haemopoietic progenitors, increased in numbers in the blood and marrow of atopic individuals, can be specifically upregulated following airway allergen challenge eliciting bronchial hyperresponsiveness and the late phase response. These progenitors are also found in nasal polyps1 and in asthmatic bronchial mucosa.2An interleukin (IL)-5 responsive subset of progenitors, marking the Eo-B lineage specifically, is upregulated in the marrow within 24 hours of allergen challenge in dual responder asthmatics; using triple colour flow cytometry it can be shown that this subpopulation of progenitors in the marrow is one that bears high affinity receptors for IL-5 (IL-5Rα), existing as a subpopulation of early progenitors bearing CD34/45.3 4 Thus, a readily mobilisable …
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