Allergic diseases continue to plague modernized societies, underscoring the need to identify the molecular basis for the propensity of a small number of environmental proteins to provoke maladaptive, allergic responses. Recent data suggest that the ability of allergenic proteins to drive allergic responses in susceptible hosts is driven by their unique innate immune activating capabilities. Although the identification of allergen-specific pattern recognition receptors is in its infancy, studies to date have shown that allergens drive Th2-biased immune responses via directly engaging C-type lectin receptors (dectin-2, DC-SIGN, and mannose receptor) on dendritic cells and/or mimicking toll-like receptor 4 signaling complex molecules expressed on airway structural cells. Elucidation of the specific innate immune pathways activated by allergens holds great promise in defining new therapeutic targets for the treatment of allergic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy