In search of cells responsible for allergies

Allergies occur because our immune system defends itself, convinced that inoffensive substances actually attack us. In question, the cells producing immunoglobulin E (IgE) which studies have shown that they can be regulated ... in mice. It remains to find where these cells are in the human body and how to act on their IgE production.

It can be mild symptoms, like runny nose yes itchy eyes, it can be a hay fever already more handicapping, it can also translate into a very aggressive inflammation such as anaphylaxis: these are allergies, disproportionate reactions of our immune system. These reactions are caused by the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE). An Australian researcher, Pablo Canete, went looking for cells producing IgE, certain to find at the end of this track the way to act against allergies by modulating this production of IgE.

Focus on the tonsil area

The cells that allow this modulation have already been observed ... in mice. Pablo Canete has therefore sought their equivalent in humans by focusing on the region of the tonsils. The research proved more difficult than planned by Canete. He told IFLScience: "The human cell has a very different aspect of the mouse counterpart, it does not have the mouse gene regulator that exists in the mouse," said Pablo Canete, who nevertheless managed to describe a T cells in the tonsils that suppress IgE, work published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

"If we can find them in the blood, it will make our work much easier," said Pablo Canete in IFLScience, "because of the obstacles to accessing tonsil samples."

Ways to act other than antihistamines

His research could find new ways of taking action against allergies, whether to control or treat them, other than antihistamines. The track followed is to identify the molecules produced by these cells, but without going so far as to suppress their ability to produce IgE that are needed against the actual threats to our organisms.

Video: Hypersensitivity reactions. type 1, type 2, type 3 and type 4 hypersensitivity (February 2020).