Scientists have found a protein in the eye which plays a critical role in how an allergic response develops over a 24-hour period. The University College London (UCL) team hope their discovery will pave the way for new treatments for allergic diseases such as asthma, eczema and hay fever.
In a study published today in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Professor Santa Jeremy Ono and colleagues from UCLs Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital found that the macrophage inflammatory protein-1a, known as MIP-1a and located in the eye, plays a crucial role in the early stages of an allergic response. Their findings suggest that drugs that block the binding of MIP-1a to its receptors could help in the treatment of ocular allergy and other allergic diseases.
Allergies affect over one third of individuals in the Western world, with 17 million people in the UK currently suffering from asthma, conjunctivitis, eczema or hay fever.
Jenny Gimpel | EurekAlert!
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