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IgE mediated immune response in allergic asthma

Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma.  In allergic asthma, the body initiates an immune response to an allergen such as pet dander, dust-mites, mold or pollen that results in IgE antibodies.  This process is commonly referred to as allergic sensitization.  Most allergens are proteins (can be a carbohydrate or lipid) that pass through the epithelial barrier and come into contact with a dendritic cell.  The dendritic cell presents the antigen peptide to Naïve T cells in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules.  This is recognized by a Naïve T cell that can become an allergen-specific T helper 2 (Th2) cell that will secrete the cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 necessary for the activation of B cells to produce IgE antibodies.  Circulating IgE antibodies attach to the surface of mast cells and basophils via its high affinity receptor for IgE (FceRI) and/or continue to re-circulate throughout the body.  Subsequent exposure to the same allergen will cause cross-linking of the cell-bound antigen specific IgE, which causes degranulation and the release of mediators. Mediators include histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes.  Additionally, the reaction can be enhanced by the recruitment of eosinophils.  Ultimately the mediators promote vascular permeability, smooth-muscle contraction and mucus production, which cause symptoms of asthma including airway constriction, coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.

Suggested review articles from the literature:
The development of allergic inflammation>
Potential role of interleukin-10-secreting regulatory T cells in allergy and asthma>

Ovalbumin (OVA) induced allergic asthma:
Ovalbumin (OVA) is widely used to induce an IgE response in mouse models of allergic asthma.  Endpoint analysis may include evaluating airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophil count of the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and the quantification of analytes in serum and BAL fluid.  MD Bioproducts offers an ELISA kit for endpoint analysis of OVA-IgE - a marker of an OVA induced asthmatic response.