Pathophysiology of and potential new therapies for allergic rhinitis


  • John David Osguthorpe MD

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
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  • Potential conflict of interest: JDO is a consultant to TEVA Pharmaceuticals; he received no financial support for this manuscript.

Correspondence to: John David Osguthorpe, MD, Surgery Service (112), Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center, 109 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29401; e-mail



Advancement in laboratory techniques in the past decade, coupled with clinical studies, has afforded a better understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying allergy.


The literature on the pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis, systemic and local, was reviewed, with emphasis on the last 3 years.


The basis in allergic rhinitis for the T-lymphocyte helper 2 cell and associated cytokine bias, and the ameliorating effects of T-regulatory lymphocytes and their cytokines, is summarized. New or currently under development pharmacotherapeutic agents are briefly presented.


Much of the molecular basis for the manifestations of allergy can now be explained, and may afford strategies to interrupt the development of disease or ameliorate such already present.