[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this review is to focus on putative modified epithelial functions related to allergy. The dysregulation of the epithelial barrier might result in the allergen uptake, which could be the primary defect in the pathogenesis of allergic reaction. We review the literature of the role of respiratory epithelium as an active barrier, how allergens are transported through it and how it senses the hostile environmental allergens and other dangerous stimuli.
Clinical and translational allergy. 01/2011; 1(1):5.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergies are a global health problem with rapidly increasing prevalence but still lacking pathogenetic knowledge or optimal treatment. The objective is to add to the conventional thinking that allergies are caused by overactive, mainly T-cell-mediated, immunological responses and thus to raise the putative role of altered epithelial functions.
Birch pollen allergen was rapidly and actively transported through the respiratory epithelium via caveolar-dependent mechanisms only in patients allergic to birch pollen but not their healthy controls. Transcriptomic analyses showed that whereas healthy individuals raised a strong epithelial response after intranasal allergen challenge, the allergic patients had a reduced response. Thus allergies could also be due to hyporeactive responses on the epithelial level.
Epithelium has emerged as an active and complex organ with mechanical, biochemical and immunological functions. The increasing awareness that epithelium interacts actively with allergens might provide new targets for the prevention and management of allergy.
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 02/2011; 11(1):29-32. · 3.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Airway epithelial cells are the first to encounter aeroallergens and therefore have recently become an interesting target of many studies investigating their involvement in the modulation of allergic inflammatory responses. Disruption of a passive structural barrier composed of epithelial cells by intrinsic proteolytic activity of allergens may facilitate allergen penetration into local tissues and additionally affect chronic and ongoing inflammatory processes in respiratory tissues. Furthermore, the ability of rhinoviruses to disrupt and interfere with epithelial tight junctions may alter the barrier integrity and enable a passive passage of inhaled allergens through the airway epithelium. On the other hand, epithelial cells are no longer considered to act only as a physical barrier toward inhaled allergens, but also to actively contribute to airway inflammation by detecting and responding to environmental factors. Epithelial cells can produce mediators, which may affect the recruitment and activation of more specialized immune cells to the local tissue and also create a microenvironment in which these activated immune cells may function and propagate the inflammatory processes. This review presents the dual role of epithelium acting as a passive and active barrier when encountering an inhaled allergen and how this double role contributes to the start of local immune responses.
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