Journal: The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
The influence of early exposure to allergenic foods on the subsequent development of food allergy remains uncertain.
Alcohol consumption in western pregnant women is not uncommon and could be a risk factor for childhood atopic disease. However, reported alcohol intake may be unreliable, and associations are likely to be confounded.
Newborns display distinct immune responses, leaving them vulnerable to infections and impairing immunization. Targeting newborn dendritic cells (DCs), which integrate vaccine signals into adaptive immune responses, might enable development of age-specific vaccine formulations to overcome suboptimal immunization.
Allergy immunotherapy targets the immunological cause of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and allergic asthma and has the potential to alter the natural course of allergic disease.
The incidence of food allergy has increased dramatically in the last few decades in westernized developed countries. We propose that the Western lifestyle and diet promote innate danger signals and immune responses through production of “alarmins.” Alarmins are endogenous molecules secreted from cells undergoing nonprogrammed cell death that signal tissue and cell damage. High molecular group S (HMGB1) is a major alarmin that binds to the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE). Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are also present in foods. We propose the “false alarm” hypothesis, in which AGEs that are present in or formed from the food in our diet are predisposing to food allergy. The Western diet is high in AGEs, which are derived from cooked meat, oils, and cheese. AGEs are also formed in the presence of a high concentration of sugars. We propose that a diet high in AGEs and AGE-forming sugars results in misinterpretation of a threat from dietary allergens, promoting the development of food allergy. AGEs and other alarmins inadvertently prime innate signaling through multiple mechanisms, resulting in the development of allergic phenotypes. Current hypotheses and models of food allergy do not adequately explain the dramatic increase in food allergy in Western countries. Dietary AGEs and AGE-forming sugars might be the missing link, a hypothesis supported by a number of convincing epidemiologic and experimental observations, as discussed in this article.
Programming of the immune system during fetal development can influence asthma-related risk factors and outcomes in later life. Vitamin D is a well-recognized immune modulator, and deficiency of this nutrient during pregnancy is hypothesized to influence disease development in offspring.
Atopic eczema (AE) is characterized by skin barrier and immune dysfunction. Null mutations in filaggrin (FLG), a key epidermal barrier protein, strongly predispose to AE; however, the precise role of FLG deficiency in AE pathogenesis remains incompletely understood.
Prenatal and early postnatal exposures to environmental factors are considered responsible for the increasing prevalence of allergic diseases. Although there is some evidence for allergy-promoting effects in children due to exposure to plasticizers like phthalates, findings of previous studies are inconsistent and lack mechanistic information.
Childhood exposure to a farm environment has been shown to protect against the development of inflammatory diseases such as allergy, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Food allergy prevalence is reported to be increasing, but epidemiological data using patients' electronic health records (EHRs) remain sparse.