Background Allergic rhinitis (AR) is associated with robust infiltration of immune cells and mediators that may contribute to clinical manifestations of the disease.
Objective To review the complex immune effector mechanisms involved in the allergic response and discuss their effects on the pathophysiological and clinical manifestations of AR. Desloratadine, a novel antihistamine, was used as a probe with the goal of attaining a better understanding of the inflammatory processes underlying the allergic response.
Methods Data were obtained from abstracts and peer-reviewed journals. The pathophysiology of the allergic response has been extensively studied. This paper presents only data from studies that used desloratadine at physiologically relevant concentrations.
Results Key mediators involved in the allergic response and in pathophysiological and clinical manifestations of the immune response were reviewed. Desloratadine was used as a probe to further elucidate the mechanisms involved during an allergic response.
Conclusions Some have proposed a link between the pathophysiology of AR and the clinical manifestation of symptoms. Desloratadine, a new-generation antihistamine, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in vitro; indeed, desloratadine is capable of intervening at various points in the immune cascade. Although in vitro results do not necessarily correlate with clinical efficacy, the anti-inflammatory properties of desloratadine may contribute to its efficacy in patients with AR, allergy-induced asthma, and other related allergic conditions. Antihistamines that modulate in the immune system at various stages may optimize treatment of allergic disease.