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Allergy Treatment Could Benefit from HRF Molecule Study

Posted by floriza in Allergy

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has shown that the histamine releasing factor (HRF) molecule could assist in creating allergy treatments. The study was conducted at La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.

As a result of the study, the researchers learned more about how histamine releasing factor contributes to the development of allergies and asthma in people with IgE antibodies that react to HRF. They found that HRF’s effects can be blocked, which could pave the way for medications and therapies that could reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.

The researchers discovered that two peptides (protein fragments), N19 and H3, may be able to block the HRF interactions with IgE molecules, which are the primary causes of allergic responses.

While physicians have recognized HRF’s part in allergic reactions for some time, this study is the first to illuminate how the molecule works in the body to produce these reactions. It has taken 15 years since the HRF molecule was identified to arrive at this finding, as the determination has been very complex. This is partially due to the fact that studies conducted in the past seemed to indicate that IgE antibodies did not react to HRF. Since the researchers felt that these findings were faulty, they continued their work and have reached what they believe to be a definitive result.

Allergy and Asthma Cases Are On the Rise

The numbers of people suffering from allergies and asthma are increasing. Estimates are that nearly 20 percent of the population of countries in the developed world have an allergy of some kind.

Asthma is considered to be an epidemic in the United States with more than 20 million people currently diagnosed with the condition. Almost half of this number are children.

The Allergic Response

An allergic reaction is a response by the immune system to what is a harmless substance to the majority of people. For those with an allergy to the substance (allergen), the body acts as though the allergen is harmful and begins to fight against it. For this reason, allergies are sometimes called an “overreaction.” IgE antibody molecules go into action when the body encounters the allergen, and histamine is released as a result.

The symptoms can be extremely varied, including sinus congestion, inflammation, itching, hives, ear infections, bronchitis, to name just a few. Asthma symptoms are characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and swelling of the airways. In severe allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock can be life-threatening.

Treatments for allergy in New Jersey, New York, and other states with high incidence of allergy and asthma patients are available for both diagnosis and management of symptoms.


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