Resetting time in immune cells can ameliorate allergy

Published Online: November 10, 2015

Patients with allergic diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis show daily variations in their symptoms, generally being worse during the night and relieved during the day. The “circadian clock” is the fundamental timing mechanisms by which living organisms fit their physiology to daily alterations in the environment with a period of approximately 24 hours. Nakamura et al. have previously suggested that the activity of the circadian clock drives the daily variations in allergic reactions (symptoms).

In a recently published article in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Nakamura et al have extended their previous study and reported a new strategy to relieve allergic reactions. They pharmacologically reset times in allergy-related immune cells (mast cells and basophils) from “the night” to “the day” to relieve allergic reactions.

They showed that resetting the circadian clock in mast cells to times when their allergen/IgE-mediated reactions show trough, i.e., the day, by pharmacological reagents resulted in suppression of urticaria and allergic rhinitis in mouse models and of pollen-mediated histamine release in basophils derived from patients with pollen allergy.

Therefore, manipulation of the circadian clock selectively in mast cells or basophils may become a new approach for controlling allergic diseases. This study strongly supports that the time is inextricably linked to the pathology of allergic diseases and research on how the time of day impacts allergic reactions which we may call “chronoallergology” will provide new insight into previously unknown aspects of the biology of allergies.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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