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The T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (Tim) gene family in asthma, allergy, and autoimmunity

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The T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (Tim) gene family is a relatively newly discovered group of molecules with a conserved structure and important immunologic functions. Tim molecules express on many types of immune cells including T cells, B cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, and mast cells that have been shown to be involved in asthma, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, and autoimmunity. Tim-1‐Tim-4 interaction promotes Th2 cytokine responses, and blocking this interaction can decrease airway inflammation in asthma and in allergic rhinitis. Tim-3 stimulates mast cells to produce Th2 cytokines, and anti‐Tim-3 is able to dampen asthmatic inflammation. The Tim-3 ligand was shown to be greatly enhanced on intestinal epithelial cells in patients with food allergy and Tim-4 may play a role in maintaining oral tolerance and prevention of food allergy. Tim-3 deregulation plays a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Increased Tim-1 expression has been shown in mononuclear cells from systemic lupus erythematosus patients and Tim-3 may be involved in a protective role in rheumatoid arthritis.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; Th2 cytokines; Tim; asthma; food allergy; genetic association; multiple sclerosis; polymorphism; review; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, New York, USA

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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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