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New Frontiers in the Mechanisms of Tolerance Induction to Allergens

Paul J. Bryce, PhD
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL, United States

Immunological tolerance is a critically important process that limits and prevents immune-mediated diseases. This includes both responses to self and to environmental allergens. Regulatory T cells play a vital role in this. Consequently, defects in these cells lead to complex autoimmunity and severe allergy. Approaches to restore tolerance have been limited and many immunotherapy approaches have limited impact on restoring long-lived non-responsiveness. Recently, the role of the spleen in tolerance has begun to be appreciated and several methods to induce tolerance have been reported. In particular, the role of splenic marginal zone macrophages in sampling antigens to promote tolerance has been exploited. These studies have supported scavenger receptors, including SIGNR1 and MARCO, as being potential targets for induction of tolerance.