WP 3 - Mechanisms

Very little is known on the events taking place in the effector organs of anaphylactic shock and many questions remain unanswered. Most prominently: How are mast cells activated and what determines the extent and pattern of their response? Because of this gap in understanding, we are presently unable to predict severe anaphylactic reactions – neither the case history, the results of skin prick testing nor the levels of allergen-specific IgE correlate with the clinical threshold nor with the severity of anaphylactic reactions elicited by controlled challenge. Further, very little is known from human studies on the significance of other cells and mediators in the elicitation of anaphylaxis.


The studies on mechanisms will focus on two areas:

  1. Studies on the role of mast cells in anaphylaxis and studies on absorption and distribution of allergens.
  2. Expansion of the research into other areas of anaphylaxis pathophysiology including studies on Tcells and on other mediators such as PAF, tryptase, chymase, chemo- and cytokines 


In WP 3.1 - Microdialysis In skin after local exposure and WP 3.2 - Microdialysis In skin after oral challenges will focus on the immediate response, release and effect in the skin after different routes of exposure.


In WP 3.3 - Absorption of labelled proteins from mouth and stomach in food allergic patients will address the key etiological question concerning, kinetics: why can ingestion through the mouth release an allergic reaction in other anatomical regions, i.e. an arm, within minutes?

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