Abstract The eye represents an ideal and frequent site for the allergic reactions. The term 'allergic conjunctivitis' refers to a collection of disorders that affect the lid, conjunctiva and/or cornea. Even though the diagnosis is essentially clinical, local tests such as cytology, conjunctival provocation and tear mediator analysis can be performed. The immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated mechanism does not explain completely the severity and the clinical course of chronic allergic ocular diseases such as vernal (VKC) and atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC), which are probably also related to T cell-mediated responses, massive eosinophil attraction and activation and non-specific hypersensitivity. An altered balance between T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells and between Th1- and Th2-types of cytokines is thought to be responsible of the development of ocular allergic disorders. New findings suggest that a wide range of cytokines, chemokines, proteases and growth factors are involved by complex interwoven interactions rather than distinct and parallel pathways. In addition, several non-specific enzymatic systems may be activated during acute and chronic allergic inflammation, thus contributing to the complex pathogenesis of the disease. Current drug treatment for ocular allergy targets the key mechanisms involved in the development of clinical disease: mast cells with mast cell stabilizers, histamine with histamine receptor antagonists and inflammation with corticosteroids, severe inflammation with immunomodulators. None of these agents lacks side effects and none abolishes signs and symptoms completely. New therapeutic strategies are still needed to respond to the complex pathogenesis of severe forms of ocular allergy such as VKC and AKC.

Allergy and the eye

LEONARDI, ANDREA;
2008

Abstract

Abstract The eye represents an ideal and frequent site for the allergic reactions. The term 'allergic conjunctivitis' refers to a collection of disorders that affect the lid, conjunctiva and/or cornea. Even though the diagnosis is essentially clinical, local tests such as cytology, conjunctival provocation and tear mediator analysis can be performed. The immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated mechanism does not explain completely the severity and the clinical course of chronic allergic ocular diseases such as vernal (VKC) and atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC), which are probably also related to T cell-mediated responses, massive eosinophil attraction and activation and non-specific hypersensitivity. An altered balance between T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells and between Th1- and Th2-types of cytokines is thought to be responsible of the development of ocular allergic disorders. New findings suggest that a wide range of cytokines, chemokines, proteases and growth factors are involved by complex interwoven interactions rather than distinct and parallel pathways. In addition, several non-specific enzymatic systems may be activated during acute and chronic allergic inflammation, thus contributing to the complex pathogenesis of the disease. Current drug treatment for ocular allergy targets the key mechanisms involved in the development of clinical disease: mast cells with mast cell stabilizers, histamine with histamine receptor antagonists and inflammation with corticosteroids, severe inflammation with immunomodulators. None of these agents lacks side effects and none abolishes signs and symptoms completely. New therapeutic strategies are still needed to respond to the complex pathogenesis of severe forms of ocular allergy such as VKC and AKC.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2267177
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