The allergic pathway and potential points of intervention.
Three main points of therapeutic intervention are proposed for the treatment of allergic disease. a | The first possibility (green box) is to block initiation of the immune response and thereby prevent development of disease-promoting T helper 2 (TH2) responses to allergens: for example, by intervention early in life. b | The second possibility (blue box) is to block activation of allergen-specific TH2 cells, either directly or indirectly through effects on antigen-presenting cells: for example, by treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as glucocorticoids, or by allergen immunotherapy. c | The third possibility (yellow boxes) is to block effector molecules that cause the clinical symptoms of allergic disease: for example, by treatment with antihistamines, leukotriene antagonists, neutralizing antibodies specific for TH2 cytokines or antibodies specific for IgE. IL, interleukin; TCR, T-cell receptor.
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