Navigation Links
Scientists discover the basis of allergic reactions
Date:6/5/2014

Allergies in humans and animals are on the increase. An allergic reaction may cause unpleasant symptoms like hay fever, food intolerance or skin rashes. Allergic reactions may also cause acute and life-threatening symptoms, such as asthma or anaphylactic shock.

A single pollen protein is responsible for allergies

One of the most well known allergens, i.e. substances that cause allergies, is so-called "Bet v 1" from birch pollen (Betula verrucosa). The protein was first produced artificially in the laboratory 25 years ago in Vienna, and is being used as an allergen model for research throughout the world. "Bet v 1" is the principal allergen among hundreds of other proteins of birch pollen. It renders the immune system hypersensitive and leads to the formation of disease-causing antibodies known as IgE immunoglobulins in 95 percent of persons with a pollen allergy.

Birch pollen protein in its iron-loaded state is not allergenic

Until recently it was not known why harmless molecules trigger allergies at all. Scientist Franziska Roth-Walter and her colleagues from the Messerli Research Institute have now found the possible cause. The birch pollen protein "Bet v 1" is very similar to the human protein Lipocalin 2 in terms of structure; Lipocalin 2 is mainly present in the lung. Lipocalin 2 and "Bet v 1" possess so-called molecular pockets with which they can bind iron. When these pockets remain empty, the birch pollen protein becomes an allergen and is liable to cause allergic reactions in humans and animals. The protein manipulates so-called T-helper 2 cells (Th2 cells), a certain type of immune cells, towards allergy. The human protein Lipocalin 2 also performs tasks of the immune system, depending on its iron loading.

Origin of allergy investigated in the model of birch pollen

In allergic people and other mammals, Th2 cells are predominant compared to Th1 cells. Th2 cells play an important role in allergic reactions and in combating parasites. Th1 cells serve to defend the body against bacterial and viral infections. "A typical feature of allergies is the disruption of the balance between the Th1 and Th2 immune response," explains Professor Erika Jensen-Jarolim, head of the Department of Comparative Medicine at the Messerli Research Institute.

"Investigations currently in progress indicate that we can directly transfer the principle of birch pollen allergens to other allergens with a similar molecular structure. We are thus starting to understand - for the first time - why allergies to pollen, foodstuffs and fungal spores actually arise in the first place."

Environmental factors determine the iron loading of the pollen protein

Scientists at the Messerli Research Institute, a combined facility of the Vetmeduni Vienna, the Meduni Vienna an der University of Vienna, are currently investigating the mechanisms that may contribute to reduced iron loading of "Bet v 1" in plants. "Iron loading of the birch protein may be connected to the aggravated environmental conditions acting on plants," says Jensen-Jarolim. "In fact, there may be a direct connection between environmental pollution and rising allergy statistics. The most important conclusion from our work is that, in the future, it would make sense to specifically load allergenic molecules of the "Bet v 1" type with iron when they are used as allergy-specific immunotherapy in allergic patients. By doing so, this treatment - which currently takes two to four years - can be greatly shortened and its efficiency can thus be enhanced."


'/>"/>

Contact: Erika Jensen-Jarolim
erika.jensen-jarolim@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-664-602-576-260
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. MU scientists successfully transplant, grow stem cells in pigs
2. Scientists capture most detailed images yet of humans tiny cellular machines
3. NUS scientists demonstrate rare chemical phenomenon to harvest solar energy
4. Glow-in-the-dark tool lets scientists find diseased bats
5. Listening helps scientists track bats without exposing the animals to disease
6. Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation
7. Vines choke a forests ability to capture carbon, Smithsonian scientists report
8. Imaging scientists develop a better tool for tracking MS
9. Scientists map the worst times of day for people allergic to grass pollen
10. Scientists discover potential new target for cancer immunotherapy
11. Two Norwegian neuroscientists receive the 2014 Körber European Science Prize
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2016)... LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: LEGX ... Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort to ... of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting and ... athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing proof ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By inserting ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type ... Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion by ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... March 22, 2016 Unique ... passcodes for superior security   ... provider of secure digital communications services, today announced it ... and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial ... and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention ... recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design and ... in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors and ... brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of one ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Andrew ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , ... cancer care is placing an increasing burden on ... biologic therapies. With the patents on many biologics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: