Introduction to Allergic Diseases
Allergic diseases are usually defined as significant pathological changes caused by the immune system over-reacting to contact with harmless substances. Generally speaking, allergic reactions involve at least part of type I hypersensitivity and IgE. Major allergic conditions involving IgE include conjunctivitis, asthma and allergic, allergic rhinitis, allergic reactions to certain foods and drugs, allergic reactions to insect bites, atopic dermatitis and allergic reactions to other less common harmless substances.
Fig.1 IgE-mediated inflammation in allergic disorders. (Zellweger, 2016)
IgE-Associated Allergic Disorders
- Allergic asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease that can be induced by a variety of environmental substances. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. Some studies investigating the association of allergen-specific IgE with adult asthma patients indicate that specific IgE is the most effective predictor of asthma symptoms.
- Atopic dermatitis (AD)
AD is a disease in which the barrier function of the skin is impaired. At present, the cause of AD is not particularly clear. Scientists have observed an increase in the number of basophils and mast cells in the skin damage of patients with AD. It is worth noting that the use of immunosuppressive drugs to reduce skin inflammation is accompanied by a decrease in the expression of autoreactive IgE antibodies.
- Allergic rhinitis (AR)
AR is a disease that is relatively popular among school-age children and adolescents. Like other allergic diseases, AR is closely related to the synthesis of allergen-specific IgE. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are most severe at night or early in the morning. This may be due to daily changes in basophil reactivity regulated by the circadian rhythm of the cell. These epidemiological and pathophysiological findings help to better understand AR.
Anti-IgE Therapy of Allergic Diseases
Although IgE is the least abundant antibody in human serum, it has the ability to induce effective inflammatory immune responses in various tissues and organs. IgE-related allergic diseases are the most common inflammatory diseases. The increasing number of people affected by allergic diseases shows that there is an urgent need for better diagnostic methods and more effective treatment options. IgE has long been considered a therapeutic target for allergic diseases, but the difficulty lies in choosing an agent that does not trigger IgE cross-linking when it binds to the receptor on the target cell. Recently, progress has been made in IgE-related allergic diseases, thereby establishing new therapeutic targets. By designing a monoclonal antibody that targets the part of IgE that binds to a specific location on the receptor, it can effectively interrupt the allergic cascade and greatly improve asthma and other diseases. The recent emergence of other more effective anti-IgE monoclonal antibodies is creating more opportunities for anti-IgE therapy to improve the lives of many people with IgE-related diseases.
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- Zellweger, F.; Eggel, A. IgE-associated allergic disorders: recent advances in etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Allergy. 2016, 71(12): 1652-1661.
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