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Abstract

Apoptosis is central for the maintenance of health. In the immune system, apoptosis guarantees proper development of immune cells and shutdown of immune reactions by the coordinated elimination of activated immune cells. Limitation of the life span of granulocytes is important, as overactivation of these cells is associated with chronic inflammation and collateral tissue damage. Consequently, targeted induction of granulocyte apoptosis may be beneficial in the course of respective immune disorders. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as glucocorticoids and monoclonal antibodies against IL-5Rα exert their function in part by triggering eosinophil apoptosis. Agonistic antibodies targeting Siglec-8 or death receptors are tested (pre)clinically. Moreover, a new class of inhibitors targeting antiapoptotic BCL-2 proteins shows great promise for anticancer treatments. Because of their specificity and tolerable side effects, these so-called BH3 mimetics may be worthwhile to evaluate in inflammatory disorders. Here, we review past and recent data on pharmacological apoptosis induction of granulocytes and highlight respective therapeutic potential.

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2023-01-20
2024-06-22
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-051921-115130
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