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Keywords:

  • T-helper lymphocyte;
  • IgE;
  • eosinophil;
  • mast cell;
  • humanized monoclonal antibody;
  • cytokine;
  • chemokine

Background

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.

Methods

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

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.