IgE-Mediated Asthma and Rhinitis I: A Role of Allergen Exposure?
Article first published online: 18 JUN 2002
Pharmacology & Toxicology
Volume 90, Issue 5, pages 231–242, May 2002
How to Cite
Nielsen, G. D., Hansen, J. S., Lund, R. M., Bergqvist, M., Larsen, S. T., Clausen, S. K., Thygesen, P. and Poulsen, O. M. (2002), IgE-Mediated Asthma and Rhinitis I: A Role of Allergen Exposure?. Pharmacology & Toxicology, 90: 231–242. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0773.2002.900502.x
- Issue published online: 18 JUN 2002
- Article first published online: 18 JUN 2002
- (Received Received May 23, 2001; Accepted October 19, 2001)
Abstract: Exposures to airborne protein antigens, aeroallergens, may cause sensitization with production of Th2-dependent antibodies, including IgE. The IgE antibodies and associated cellular responses are responsible for the allergic airway diseases, allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, which are increasing in societies with Western life style. Aeroallergens may have different potential to sensitize exposed subjects. Thus, there are only a limited number of important groups of aeroallergens, which are those from house dust mites, cockroaches, pets, pollens, and moulds. Allergy follows to a certain extent the pharmacological/toxicological paradigm of dose-response relationship. Unlike effects of pharmacologically and toxicologically active substances, allergens elicit their adverse effects in a two-stage process. In the first stage the immunologically naïve individual is sensitized to the allergen. In the second stage renewed exposure to the allergen elicits the disease response. Also, high concentrations of aeroallergens may induce immunological tolerance. The scientific literature suggests that many environmental factors contribute to the increase in sensitization and development of airway allergies. Nevertheless, the dose-response relationships apply (within certain limits) both to the sensitization itself and to the exacerbation of the diseases. This suggest that exposure reduction may be one of the methods for reduction of risk, in relation to control of the allergic airway diseases.