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Betterhumans site:Eyes Opened to New Allergy Treatments

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By Nutternomore on Sat, 01-15-05, 06:44

[b]Eyes Opened to New Allergy Treatments[/b]
[i]Protein in the eye plays a crucial role in allergic response[/i]

Betterhumans Staff
1/13/2005 4:13 PM

A protein in the eye has been discovered to play a key role in the early stages of an allergic response, providing a new target for treating allergic diseases.

UK researcher Santa Jeremy Ono and colleagues from University College London have discovered that an inflammatory protein in the eye called macrophage inflammatory protein-1a (MIP-1a) plays a crucial role in how an allergic response develops over a 24-hour period.

The findings suggest that drugs that block the binding of MIP-1a to its receptors could help treat allergic diseases.

"Current treatments for severe eye allergy are either ineffective or have associated side-effects, such as glaucoma and cataract formation, so our study will be of interest to allergists and ophthalmologists," says Ono says. "Many current allergy treatments target symptoms rather than the cause of the disease, meaning this discovery could constitute a new target for the treatment of allergic diseases."

Blocking up

Allergic responses develop in two phases. First, there's an immediate reaction within one hour of exposure to an allergen when mast cells release histamine and other molecules such as chemokines

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