APCs, in particular DCs and LCS, and their role in the uptake, modification, and presentation of antigen to T cells, have offered new insights into the regulation and control of the allergic response in various body tissues, especially the skin and the eye. The regulation of FceRI expression on APCs and the role of this IgE receptor in the initiation and control of the immune response as well as the profile of the chemokines produced as a result of allergen exposure have become better defined. It may be possible to generate APCs that express the FceRI receptor to induce allergen specific tolerance in patients with uncontrolled allergic responses to common environmental antigens. Other novel therapeutic strategies, some of which have already been explored, include the use of recombinant and synthetic elements of human IgE as competitive inhibitors of the IgE-FceRI interaction (35). Inhibition of the steps of the signal transduction pathway to control the allergic response may be another approach. However, much remains to be elucidated, for example, how the immune response can be switched from a TH2 to a Th1 type in atopic individuals, in order to help develop safe, effective treatments with minimal side effects to combat a range of allergic conditions.
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