The Role of Complement in the Diagnosis and Management of Allergic Rhinitis and Allergic Asthma
Allergic rhinitis and asthma are common chronic inflammatory diseases of the nasal mucus membranes and the upper airways with a high prevalence in Western countries. In addition to maladaptive T-helper type 2 (Th2) immunity, Th17 cells can drive the inflammatory responses in both diseases. Several reports have shown that the complement system is activated locally and systemically in allergic rhinitis and/or allergic asthma patients. Importantly, recent findings in experimental models of allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma suggest that the complement cleavage products complement 3a and complement 5a and the activation of their corresponding receptors in antigen-presenting cells regulate the development of maladaptive Th2 and Th17 immunity. These findings in experimental asthma are corroborated by genome-wide searches and candidate gene studies in humans. We discuss recent findings in experimental and human allergic airway diseases suggesting that complement may serve as a new diagnostic and therapeutic target for both disorders.
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