Small Intestine May Play Large Role in Food Allergy

In March, I talked about research related to dendritic cells and food allergies in a post called, "New Discovery May Help Food Allergic".  Last week, Massachusetts General released a new study focused on dendritic cells in the intestinal lining. They discovered that these cells collect antigens from both intestinal contents and the blood stream, leading to the generation of T cells that suppress inflammation. Researchers believe that the suppression of inflammation could bring about the inappropriate immune response characteristic of autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease and food allergies. Controlling T cell activation in the intestine may play a role in understanding food allergies.

Take a look at the complete press release, Intestinal immune cells play an unexpected role in immune surveillance of the bloodstream, for more detailed information. This study was supported by several National Institutes of Health grants.

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