What is the role of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?

Updated: May 18, 2018
  • Author: Javed Sheikh, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

The tendency to develop allergic, or IgE-mediated, reactions to extrinsic allergens (proteins capable of causing an allergic reaction) has a genetic component. In susceptible individuals, exposure to certain foreign proteins leads to allergic sensitization, which is characterized by the production of specific IgE directed against these proteins. This specific IgE coats the surface of mast cells, which are present in the nasal mucosa. When the specific protein (eg, a specific pollen grain) is inhaled into the nose, it can bind to the IgE on the mast cells, leading to immediate and delayed release of a number of mediators. [7, 8, 9]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!