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Researchers engineer a new way to inhibit allergic reactions without side effects
Date:10/13/2011

ire immune system, this approach only disrupts the process whereby white blood cells bond with allergens in the first place.

"It also does not leave patients open to an increased risk for infections or the development of cancers," explains Bilgicer. "HBLs may be most useful in situations where it's not possible to speak to or gauge someone's sensitivity."

"For example, in an emergency, on a battlefield, or in a remote location, doctors may not be able to ask a patient about an allergy before administering penicillin. An engineered HBL could be given along with the medicine and perhaps prevent a deadly reaction from occurring."

In a normal allergic reaction, allergens bind to a white blood cell, or "mast" cell, and cause the release of inflammatory molecules. Researchers at Notre Dame have shown how non-allergenic molecules, known as heterobivalent ligands, can be designed to attach to mast cells first, preventing the allergic reaction in the first place. (Image above: Backbone alignment of IgG, IgE, and IgM antibody crystal structure, including residues of the conserved nucleotide binding pocket. Credit: B. Bilgier)


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Contact: Basar Bilgicer
bbilgicer@nd.edu
574-631-3411
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

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