Allergy Asthma Immunol Res.  2011 Jan;3(1):11-20. 10.4168/aair.2011.3.1.11.

Update in the Mechanisms of Allergen-Specific Immunotheraphy

  • 1Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 2Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), Davos, Switzerland.


Allergic diseases represent a complex innate and adoptive immune response to natural environmental allergens with Th2-type T cells and allergen-specific IgE predominance. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the most effective therapeutic approach for disregulated immune response towards allergens by enhancing immune tolerance mechanisms. The main aim of immunotherapy is the generation of allergen nonresponsive or tolerant T cells in sensitized patients and downregulation of predominant T cell- and IgE-mediated immune responses. During allergen-specific immunotherapy, T regulatory cells are generated, which secrete IL-10 and induce allergen-specific B cells for the production of IgG4 antibodies. These mechanisms induce tolerance to antigens that reduces allergic symptoms. Although current knowledge highlights the role of T regulatory cell-mediated immunetolerance, definite mechanisms that lead to a successful clinical outcomes of allergen-specific immunotherapy still remains an open area of research.


Allergy; T regulatory cells; allergen-specific immunotheraphy; dendiritic cells
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