Immunotherapy update: Mechanisms of action

Paul Allen Greenberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Allergen immunotherapy (IT) results in reduction of symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma. There still is not satisfactory evidence as to the best marker that explains clinical responses. IT inhibits the early and late nasal, bronchial, and cutaneous responses to allergen challenge. There are increases in antiallergen immunoglobulin G (IgG; 2- to 10-fold) and IgG4 (JO- to 100-fold), a gradual decline in antiallergen IgE antibodies, and reduced numbers of nasal or bronchial mast cells, eosinophils, and CD4+ T-helper 2 (TH2) lymphocytes. Cytokine changes include reductions in serum interleukin (IL)-4 and in vitro lymphocyte-derived IL-4 as compared with a lack of increases in Interferon γ or IL-2. In a study in which skin biopsy specimens were obtained 24 hours after intradermal grass injection, the IT-treated patients had sharply increased numbers of macrophages which had messenger RNA for IL-12. This cytokine supports development of TH0 into TH1 CD4+ lymphocytes. Allergen immunotherapy results in a profound IgG and IgA antibody response with down-regulation of TH2 and possibly up-regulation of TH1 responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-376
Number of pages4
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunotherapy update: Mechanisms of action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this