Sublingual immunotherapy is taken as drops or tablets, containing specific allergen extracts which interact with the immune system to decrease allergic sensitivity.
Dendritic cells in the oral mucosa act as antigen presenting cells (APC) to T-cells in the cervical lymph nodes. This system modulates the allergic response by creating immune tolerance to antigens. The sublingual mucosa also has pro-inflammatory cells, such as mast cells.
Early in treatment, sublingual dendritic cells secrete interleukin 10 (IL-10) which induces regulatory T cells to inhibit the inflammatory response. There is also evidence to support the role of regulatory T cells in controlling the development of asthma and allergic disease.
Long term changes that occur with immunotherapy include a decrease in mast cell sensitivity and a decrease in IgE production by mucosal B-cells.
With sublingual immunotherapy there is a decrease in the IgE/IgG4 and a decrease in the TH1/TH2 ratio.
Read more about this topic: Sublingual Immunotherapy
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