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Functions of T cells in asthma: more than just T(H)2 cells.

Asthma has been considered a T helper 2 (T(H)2) cell-associated inflammatory disease, and T(H)2-type cytokines, such as interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5 and IL-13, are thought to drive the disease pathology in patients. Although atopic asthma has a substantial T(H)2 cell component, the disease is notoriously heterogeneous, and recent evidence has suggested that other T cells also contribute to the development of asthma. Here, we discuss the roles of different T cell subsets in the allergic lung, consider how each subset can contribute to the development of allergic pathology and evaluate how we might manipulate these cells for new asthma therapies.

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