Respiratory epithelium malfunction tied to allergic reaction

April 5th, 2009 - 11:33 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 5 (ANI): Finnish researchers have found that development of allergy might be tied to malfunction of the respiratory epithelium, which allows allergens to bind to, enter and travel through the epithelium.

Previous studies had revealed a vital role of epithelium as the first line of defense against allergens.

In the new study, the researchers aimed to clarify what happens in the epithelium immediately after allergen exposure, before the allergic reaction develops.

They used birch pollen allergen (Bet v 1) exposure and showed that this allergen binds to, enters and travels through conjunctival and nasal epithelium of allergic patients but not of healthy subjects within one minute after the exposure.

“We were able to describe a mechanism whereby birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 travels through the epithelium of allergic patients but not of healthy subjects,”said Professor Risto Renkonen (Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki and HUSLAB, Helsinki, Finland).

“This kind of transport mechanisms are used by several viruses and bacteria when invading the epithelium and infecting patients”, Renkonen added. (ANI)

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