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Atopic Eczema and the Allergist

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Several decades ago, the skin was considered to be little more than a simple barrier to dehydration, environmental toxins, and extrinsic bacteria; however, we now recognize that the skin is a complex immune organ that is fully integrated with the immune functions of the bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. Lymphocytes possess a surface glycoprotein, referred to as the cutaneous lymphocyte-associate antigen (CLA), which specifically binds to the skin. The Langerhans cell is the primary antigen processing cell in skin, and they have been shown to traverse to regional lymph nodes where they then have an opportunity to network with lymphocytes that traffic to and from the skin. This paints the picture of the skin as being a very dynamic immune organ that is totally integrated with the other immune organs and effector cells of the body. This discussion will review clinical complexities of atopic dermatitis as a prototype of allergic skin disease.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • 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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