Links between pollen, atopy and the asthma epidemic

Taylor, Philip E., Jacobson, Kraig W., House, James M. and Glovsky, M. Michael 2007, Links between pollen, atopy and the asthma epidemic, International archives of allergy and immunology, vol. 144, no. 2, pp. 162-170, doi: 10.1159/000103230.

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Title Links between pollen, atopy and the asthma epidemic
Author(s) Taylor, Philip E.ORCID iD for Taylor, Philip E.
Jacobson, Kraig W.
House, James M.
Glovsky, M. Michael
Journal name International archives of allergy and immunology
Volume number 144
Issue number 2
Start page 162
End page 170
Publisher S. Karger AG
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1018-2438
Keyword(s) air pollution
pollen fragments
pollen allergens
Summary Pollen allergy has been found in 80–90% of childhood asthmatics and 40–50% of adult-onset asthmatics. Despite the high prevalence of atopy in asthmatics, a causal relationship between the allergic response and asthma has not been clearly established. Pollen grains are too large to penetrate the small airways where asthma occurs. Yet pollen cytoplasmic fragments are respirable and are likely correlated with the asthmatic response in allergic asthmatics. In this review, we outline the mechanism of pollen fragmentation and possible pathophysiology of pollen fragment-induced asthma. Pollen grains rupture within the male flowers and emit cytoplasmic debris when winds or other disturbances disperse the pollen. Peak levels of grass and birch pollen allergens in the atmosphere correlated with the occurrence of moist weather conditions during the flowering period. Thunderstorm asthma epidemics may be triggered by grass pollen rupture in the atmosphere and the entrainment of respirable-sized particles in the outflows of air masses at ground level. Pollen contains nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced) oxidases and bioactive lipid mediators which likely contribute to the inflammatory response. Several studies have examined synergistic effects and enhanced immune response from interaction in the atmosphere, or from co-deposition in the airways, of pollen allergens, endogenous pro-inflammatory agents, and the particulate and gaseous fraction of combustion products. Pollen and fungal fragments also contain compounds that can suppress reactive oxidants and quench free radicals. It is important to know more about how these substances interact to potentially enhance, or even ameliorate, allergic asthma.
Language eng
DOI 10.1159/000103230
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007 S. Karger AG, Basel
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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