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Study finds cause of mysterious food allergy, suggests new treatment strategy
Date:7/13/2014

g explained. "This is a major breakthrough for this condition and gives us a new way to develop therapeutic strategies by modifying the expression of caplain14 and its activity. Our results are immediately applicable to EoE and have broad implications for understanding eosinophilic disorders as well as allergies in general."

The study follows years of research into EoE by Rothenberg's laboratory, including the development of novel modeling systems for the disease, and extensive multi-institutional collaboration through the National Institutes of Health's Consortium of Food Allergy Researchers. Other key collaborators on the current study include first author, Leah Kottyan, PhD, a researcher at the Center for Autoimmune Genomic Etiology at Cincinnati Children's, and co-senior investigator John Harley, MD, PhD, director of the Center of Autoimmune Genomic Etiology .

Rothenberg's lab years ago identified IL-13 as a key molecular contributor to the allergic reaction process in EoE. His team has since identified a number of related genes and molecular pathways linked to the disease, and they have tested drugs that inhibit IL-13 in an attempt to manage EoE severity.

"The current study links allergic responses mediated through IL-13 with an esophageal specific pathway, and answers a long-standing question in the allergy field of why people develop tissue specific disease manifestations," Rothenberg explained. "We have uncovered that this can be explained by the interplay of genetic susceptibility elements in allergic sensitization pathways with the newly discovered esophageal specific pathway. Thus, two steps are necessary, one dictated by allergy and one dictated by calpain14 in the esophagus."

The researchers used computer bioinformatics to conduct a genome-wide association study that analyzed 2.5 million genetic variants in thousands of individuals with and without EoE. This allowed the authors to identify the genetic susceptibility
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Contact: Jim Feuer
jim.feuer@cchmc.org
513-636-4656
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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