Tuesday August 9, from 12.00 to 13.00
Seminar with Magali Noval Rivas, UCLA, Department of Immunology, Los Angeles, USA.
"Mechanisms of oral tolerance breakdown in food allergy"
Food allergies have become a common problem in developed countries, whose prevalence has considerably increased in the last decades. Both genetic and environmental factors have been postulated in the development of those disorders. Food allergic disorders are characterized by the loss of oral tolerance towards innocuous antigens, which instead provokes a Th2 immune responses associated with food allergen-specific IgE. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying the breakdown of oral tolerance in food allergy is critical to the development novel, disease-curative approaches to therapy. To that end, we have investigating the participation of the two main populations of regulatory T cells, natural regulatory T (nTreg) cells and induced regulatory T (iTreg) cells, in an experimental model of food allergy by using a strain of food allergy-prone mice characterized by a gain of function in the IL-4 receptor alpha chain. Our studies revealed a failure of iTreg-mediated tolerance to play a critical role in the development of food allergy. Reciprocally, therapy with iTreg cells cured established disease. Reversal of molecular mechanisms associated with failure of iTreg cell function in Food Allergy promises novel therapeutic tools in disease prevention and cure.