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WAO Medical Book Review

Posted: May 2009

"T cell regulation Allergy, Asthma and Atopic Skin Diseases"
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, Vol 94
2008 S Karger AG
ISSN: 1660-2242
eISSN: 1662-2898
K. Blaser, (Davos) Editor
Price: Print: $198 US

Available from: S Karger AG

Constance H. Katelaris, MB BS PhD FRACP
Professor of Immunology and Allergy
University of Western Sydney and Campbelltown Hospital
New South Wales, Australia

In his introduction to this slim volume of collected reviews, Kurt Blaser skillfully summarizes the present state of knowledge regarding concepts of T cell regulation in allergic inflammation and lays down the three aims of this volume: to provide an updated view of immunoregulation in allergic inflammation; to describe regulation in a variety of disorders such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, parasitic and fungal diseases and finally, to offer some predictions about possible novel therapeutic interventions on the basis of our new knowledge on T cell regulation.

This volume summarizes research findings of the past decade on regulatory mechanisms in allergic inflammation including sections devoted to T regulatory cells, dendritic cells, NK cells and mast cells. There are a number of chapters relating this new understanding to specific disease states such as asthma, atopic dermatitis and parasitic and fungal diseases. The final chapters explore therapeutic strategies such as immunotherapy and control and regulation of peripheral tolerance.

Any student of immunology and in particular, those entering the field of immunological research and teachers will find this volume invaluable in its provision of an update to current thinking about T cell networks.

This is a multi-authored collection of relatively brief reviews encompassing the topics listed above. The authors without exception are the world's leaders in their various fields and are clearly summarizing many years of research contributions. Each chapter contains excellent diagrammatic illustrations of cell to cell interactions or pathways and mechanisms and adds significantly to understanding the text. Each chapter begins with a brief abstract and has a comprehensive bibliography which in most cases is very up to date.

A compilation of authoritative yet readily understandable reviews will be of significant value to students of immunology, researchers and indeed anyone wanting insight into the change in thinking about T cell regulation over the last decade.