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Are the environmental exposure chamber and nasal allergen challenge equivalent?

Published online: March 10, 2020

The environmental exposure chamber (EEC) and the nasal allergen challenge (NAC) are two methods of allergen provocation used to study the pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis and response to respiratory allergy treatments. Very little data have been obtained directly comparing NAC to EEC so it is unclear how interchangeable the two methodologies are for clinical and mechanistic research.  

In an Original Article recently published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), Larson et al used a cross-over study design to compare the clinical and immunological responses that occurred during each allergen challenge.   

The two types of challenges induced clinical symptoms that differed in magnitude and kinetics.  However, there were notable similarities in immunologic responses, such as nasal gene expression and nasal/serum cytokines, indicating consistent biological pathways were elicited by both challenges. The authors’ findings may help guide the method of challenge used for future trials of allergen therapeutics and in vivo mechanistic research.  

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

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