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Keywords:

  • allergy;
  • immunomodulation;
  • inflammatory mechanisms

Abstract

Deeper insight into pathogenetic pathways and into the biological effects of immunomodulatory agents will help to optimize or adopt therapeutic strategies for atopic disorders. In this article, we highlight selected findings of potential therapeutic relevance that emerged from recent mechanistic studies with focus on molecular and cellular aspects of allergic inflammation. Furthermore, the often complex mechanisms of action of pleiotropic immunomodulatory agents, such as glucocorticoids, vitamin D, or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), are discussed, as their dissection might reveal targets for novel therapeutics or lead to a more rational use of these compounds. Besides reporting novel evidence, this article points to areas of current debate or uncertainty and aims at stimulating scientific discussion and experimental work.