Exposure to Allergens during Development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development of allergic sensitization can occur as early as fetal life. In fact, the fetal immune system is set up to produce a T helper type 2 cytokine response to foreign antigens, as the alternative T helper type 1 cytokines would facilitate rejection of the fetus by the mother, whose major histocompatibility antigens differ from those of the fetus. Herein we describe human and animal studies that demonstrate how exposure to allergens during fetal and neonatal life can instruct the developing immune system to produce IgE antibodies that will subsequently elicit type 1 hypersensitivity responses to inhaled allergens. The roles of environmental pollutants and the genetics of the individual are closely involved in shaping development of allergic reactivity in the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Lung: Development, Aging and the Environment: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780127999418
StatePublished - Oct 23 2014


  • Allergy
  • Atopy
  • Environment
  • Fetal
  • IgE
  • Immunity
  • Neonatal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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