Skin sensitivity to food allergens explained – eczema and food allergy linked

A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston, US, led by Raif Geha, has generated data in a mouse model which supports the idea that the immune cells in the gut (T cells), are also responsible for atopic dermatitis.

Sufferers from atopic dermatitis often have food allergies, and skin contact with food allergens can worsen their dermatitis. The research found that T cells are sensitised by exposure to food allergens in the gut, and skin contact with food allergens can reprogram the gut-homing T cells into skin-homing T cells which then mediate allergic skin inflammation.

Source: The Journal of Clinical Investigation

May 2011

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