Research ArticleALLERGY

A phenotypically and functionally distinct human TH2 cell subpopulation is associated with allergic disorders

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Science Translational Medicine  02 Aug 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 401, eaam9171
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam9171

Defining damaging cells

Although T helper type 2 (TH2) cells provide necessary protection from certain types of pathogens, they are also implicated in allergy pathogenesis. Until now, methods to distinguish pathogenic cells that are reactive to allergens from the rest of the TH2 population were very limited. Wambre et al. characterized a population of memory TH2 cells, termed TH2A, that were only found in allergic individuals. They were able to do so without the use of antigen-specific tetramers. These cells decreased in patients that benefited from allergen immunotherapy, indicating that targeting TH2A cells could disrupt allergic responses.

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