The who, where, and when of IgE in allergic airway disease

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Allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis/conjunctivitis are characterized by a TH2-dominated immune response associated with increased serum IgE levels in response to inhaled allergens. Because IgE is a key player in the induction and maintenance of allergic inflammation, it represents a prime target for therapeutic intervention. However, our understanding of IgE biology remains fragmentary. This article puts together our current knowledge on IgE in allergic airway diseases with a special focus on the identity of IgE-secreting cells (“who”), their location (“where”), and the circumstances in which they are induced (“when”). We further consider the therapeutic implications of the insights gained.

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