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Allergen-specific immunotherapy: a role for T-cell anergy

, : Allergen-specific immunotherapy: a role for T-cell anergy. Annals of Allergy 71(3): 327-329

T cells induce both a specific and nonspecific effect during an allergic immune response. Antigen receptors on T cells recognize peptide fragments of foreign proteins associated with products of the major histocompatibility complex expressed on the membranes of antigen-presenting cells. The recognition event triggers T-cell activation, secretion of lymphokines, and the isotypic switch from IgG to IgE synthesis, which is mediated by IL-4. This cascade results in sensitization of the mast cell, elaboration of various mediators, and local tissue inflammation. The interaction of the antigen-presenting cell and T cell holds implications for therapeutic modulation of the allergic response by the antigen. Animal studies have demonstrated that peptides containing T-cell epitopes can be used to control the immune response. Peptides delivered with adjuvants cause stimulation, whereas peptides delivered without adjuvants result in specific T-cell anergy or tolerance. Soluble peptide can be used to induce tolerance to the peptide and to protein molecules containing that peptide. The administration of peptides containing T-cell epitopes to allergic individuals may thereby represent an important component of the next generation of allergen-specific immunotherapy.


PMID: 7690529

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