Our understanding of the mechanism of allergic disease is continuously influenced by new developments in the bio-medical sciences. The studies of glycoconjugates and animal lectins have emerged as an exciting new frontier. One family of animal lectins, soluble lactose-binding lectins, has been studied extensively by a number of laboratories. Evidence is mounting that members of this family of lectins exist in the extracellular space and may be capable of affecting functions of various cells. In this article Fu-Tong Liu presents a revised view of allergic inflammation with emphasis on the modulatory effect of soluble lectins on mast-cell function.
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