The establishment of long-term clinical tolerance in AIT requires the involvement of basophils, mast cells, allergen-specific regulatory T and B cells, downregulation of effector type 2 responses, and increase in production of specific IgG, particularly immunglobulin G4 (IgG4) antibodies. This review aims to provide an overview of the role of B cells in AIT, their mechanism of action, and their potential for improving AIT.
In-depth research of B cells has paved the way for improved diagnosis and research on allergic diseases. B cells play a central role in allergy and allergen tolerance through the production of immunglobulin E (IgE)-blocking antibodies. However, an increasing body of evidence has emerged supporting a role for B cells in regulating immune responses that extends beyond the production of antibodies. Regulatory B cells play an important role in immunosuppression, mediated by secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Successful AIT establishes the reinstatement of immune tolerance toward allergens, reduces allergic symptoms, and improves clinical treatments in patients. B cells play a central role in this process through antibody-independent immune regulatory processes in addition to the production of IgE-blocking antibodies.
aSwiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich
bChristine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), Davos, Switzerland
Correspondence to Mübeccel Akdis, MD, PhD, Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF) Herman-Burchard-Strasse 9, CH- 7265 Davos, Switzerland. Tel: +41 81 4100848; fax: +41 81 4100840; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org