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Primary sensitization to inhalant allergens
conference contributionposted on 2000-01-01, 00:00 authored by C Macaubas, S L Prescott, T J Venaille, B J Holt, T B Smallacombe, Peter SlyPeter Sly, P G Holt
The neonatal T-cell system is capable of responding to allergens at birth, indicating the occurrence of prenatal sensitization, and the cytokine profile of these responses is skewed towards the Th-2 type. This response is further modified by postnatal exposure to different types of allergens. In relation to inhalant allergen (employed by HDM) the low level fetal Th-2 responses in non-atopics appear to be down-regulated rapidly after birth, parallel to an increase in allergen-specific IFN-γ production. In contrast, atopics appear to consolidate their initial Th-2 responses, and around the age of 6 exhibit a cytokine response profile similar to the adult pattern. A pre-existing deficiency in IFN-γ production may be one of the key factors determining the postnatal persistence of Th-2 responses in atopics. (C) Munksgaard 2000.