Elucidation of Molecular Mechanism Controlling Allergic Symptoms
May 1, 2004 PRESS RELEASE
Laboratory for Cell has clarified the molecular mechanism controlling mast cell responses that leads to allergic symptoms.
According to conventional theory, the trigger of allergic symptoms is as follows: The allergy-causing antibodies “IgE,” which are abundant in people with an allergic constitution, combine with mast cells existing in the mucous membrane of the nose and the like, and further allergens such as cedar pollens also combine there.
However, it has recently become clear that by only combining with IgE even in the absence of allergens, mast cells exist longer, deteriorating allergic symptoms. This mechanism has remained unsolved.
Laboratory for Cell conducted an experiment using mice deficient of specific genes. The results indicate that mast cells have a “molecular switch mechanism,” which senses the strength and duration of the IgE receptors signals and elicits different responses such as the release of inflammatory mediators like histamine that cause allergy and the elongation of survival of the cells.
This research results were published in the U.K. science journal “Nature Reviews Immunology.”