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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2003 Jun;131 Suppl 1:2-6.

Role of IgE in Th2 cell-mediated allergic airway inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II, Chiba University School of Medicine, Chiba, Japan.


Recent studies with gene knockout mice have demonstrated that T helper 2 (Th2) cell-derived cytokines, including IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, play important roles in causing allergic airway inflammation. In addition to Th2 cytokines, IgE-dependent activation of mast cells has been suggested to play a role in allergic airway inflammation. In this review, we will discuss the role of IgE in Th2 cell-mediated allergic airway inflammation. We used IgE transgenic mice, which enabled us to investigate the role of IgE without the influence of activated T cells and other immunoglobulins. Whereas IgE cross-linking by antigens did not induce eosinophil recruitment into the airways or airway hyperreactivity, IgE cross-linking induced CD4+ T cell recruitment into the airways. In addition, when antigen-specific Th2 cells were transferred to IgE transgenic mice, IgE cross-linking significantly enhanced antigen-induced eosinophil recruitment into the airways. These findings suggest that IgE-dependent mast cell activation plays an important role in allergic airway inflammation by recruiting Th2 cells into the site of allergic inflammation.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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