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J Innate Immun. 2010;2(2):107-13. doi: 10.1159/000227761. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

Regulation of aeroallergen immunity by the innate immune system: laboratory evidence for a new paradigm.

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Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics and The Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Aging, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0663, USA.


Over the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that innate responses to microbes are mediated largely by toll-like receptors (TLRs), which recognize a diverse family of molecules produced by viruses, bacteria and fungi. This article will present evidence that TLRs also play a dominant role in innate responses to non-infectious immunostimulatory materials present in house dust extracts (HDEs) and the living environments they represent. However, our investigations challenge the commonly held view that microbial products in ambient air protect against the allergic march by promoting protective Th1 biased responses to inspired aeroallergens. Instead, all HDEs studied to date have preferentially promoted the development of Th2 biased airway hypersensitivities when used as adjuvants for intranasal (i.n.) vaccination. In contrast, daily low dose i.n. HDE delivery was found to promote the development of aeroallergen tolerance. This article will review these experimental findings as evidence to propose a new paradigm by which airborne TLR ligands and other stimulants of innate immunity may influence aeroallergen specific immunity and the genesis of allergic respiratory diseases.

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