New Breakthrough in Allergy Research: Discovery of Immune B Cells That Remember Allergens
Groundbreaking Discovery in Allergy Research
Two research teams have made a significant breakthrough in the field of allergy research, identifying a specific type of immune B cell that can remember allergens. This pioneering discovery has substantial implications for the future development of targeted and effective allergy treatments. The teams from McMaster University and ALK-Abello have discovered a new type of memory B cell, MBC2, that possesses unique characteristics and a distinctive gene signature.
Understanding the Role of MBC2 in Allergic Reactions
The MBC2 cell, a previously unknown type of memory B cell, ‘remembers’ allergies and triggers allergic reactions. This discovery provides an exact target for developing new therapies and has the potential to revolutionize the way we address allergies. Furthermore, the research found that people without allergies have very few memory B cells, while those with allergies have an abundance of MBC2 cells. This finding confirms the role of MBC2 cells in allergic reactions, even in children with peanut allergies.
Implications for Future Allergy Treatments
This groundbreaking discovery opens up new therapeutic approaches to target and eliminate MBC2 cells or change their function to prevent allergic reactions. The identification of MBC2 cells could lead to the development of new therapeutics and potentially eliminate or repurpose the cell to prevent allergic reactions. It brings encouraging news for the allergy community, as it may lead to the development of more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for allergies.
Development of Personalized Allergy Treatments
Apart from the discovery of MBC2 cells, the researchers also identified a new type of immune cell, the mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell, which has the ability to remember allergies. This could lead to the development of novel therapies and personalized treatments tailored to individual allergens. Pharmaceutical companies are already working on drugs to target MBC2 cells to shut them off without damaging surrounding cells.
Supporting the Fight Against Allergies
The research has received significant support from various organizations, including Food Allergy Canada, ALK, the Zych Family, the Satov Family, the Canadian Allergy Asthma and Immunology Foundation, the Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Schroeder Foundation. In particular, the Schroeder Foundation made a substantial contribution by donating a $10-million gift to the university in 2020 to expedite research to find a cure for allergies. The discovery offers new hope for those affected by food allergies and could lead to the development of more effective allergy treatments.