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The Role of Allergen Uptake From the Gastrointestinal Tract in Allergy

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Abstract:

A summary is presented on the role of the intestine in controlling uptake of bacterial breakdown products, endotoxins, enzyme and ingested antigens i.e., macromolecules. The mature gut retains the capacity to absorb macromolecules by an energy-dependent, pinocytotic mechanism similar to that described for the transport of α-globulins in certain mammalian species in the neonatal state. The vast majority of adults show no ill effects as a result of this physiological phenomenon. However, when increased (pathologic) quantities of toxic or antigenic macromolecules gain access to the body because of a derangement in the intraluminal digestive process or because of a defect in the mucosal barrier, macromolecular absorption may be altered and result in either local intestinal or systemic disorders. The speculative concepts suggesting that clinical disease states may be associated with altered mucosal permeability have been discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2500/108854184779109279

Affiliations: Harvard Medical School; Combined Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital and Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Publication date: 1984-06-01

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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