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Curr Opin Immunol. 1998 Dec;10(6):607-13.

The role of antigen-presenting cells in the regulation of allergen-specific T cell responses.

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Department of Cell Biology and Histology Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam Meibergdreef 15 1105 AZ Amsterdam The Netherlands.


Allergic reactions in atopic patients follow from a generalized enhanced polarization of Th cells, predominantly imposed by factors derived from antigen-presenting cells from a pathogen-stressed tissue; these sample information not only on antigen structures but also on the nature of the stress. Antigen-presenting cells of atopic individuals show aberrant characteristics which, through a highly interactive communication network, play an active role in aberrant Th-cell polarization. This generalized bias may follow from intrinsic abnormalities of antigen-presenting cells and also from a low degree of cross-regulation by micro-organisms.

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