Posted on Apr 10, 2019, 5 p.m.
Preventing torrent signalling molecules released during adverse peanut reactions could be beneficial to the 4.2 million children who are estimated to have this allergy, and be life saving to individuals who could have fatal consequences if they come in contact with even the slightest trace of peanuts.
As allergens bind with immunoglobulin antibodies on the surface of immune cells a complex chain reaction is set off that can lead to responses ranging from a rash to severe anaphylactic shock in a peanut allergy. University of Notre Dame research has effectively preventing this binding to suppress allergic reaction to peanuts using a first in class design of allergen specific inhibitors; findings have been published in PNAS.
When IgE and allergen proteins bind on the surface of immune mast cells granules are released such as histamine which are the first and most critical steps in allergic reaction during a process known as degranulation. No known medications are capable of preventing this process, inhibitors that target IgE can lead to widespread immune suppression which has been shown to have negative effects to health. The goal of this research was to develop an inhibitor to target and specifically inhibit binding of IgE and allergen proteins without interfering with other immune system problems; food allergen specific inhibitors may stop degranulations without putting the immune system at risk.
To screen and identify key binding sites on peanut proteins that patient IgE antibodies recognize nanoallergens were used to achieve their goal by studying samples from a small population of subjects with severe allergies to peanuts.
“...two immunodominant epitopes in peanuts were identified that were common in a population of 16 allergic patients; 2 cHBIs designed to inhibit these two epitopes completely abrogated allergic responses in 14 of the 16 patients in an in vitro assay and inhibited basophil activation in an allergic patient ex vivo analysis…” according to the researchers who concluded “...efficacy of the cHBI design has valuable clinical implications for many allergen specific responses and more broadly for any antibody based disease...”
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