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Pollen Lipids Can Play a Role in Allergic Airway Inflammation

Review article
Authors Åslög Dahl
Published in Frontiers in Immunology
Volume 9
ISSN 1664-3224
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Keywords pollen, allergy, immunomodulatory lipids, lipid-binding allergens, pollen-associated lipid mediators, t-cell recognition, bet v 1, sphingolipids, diversity, exine
Subject categories Allergology


In seed plants, pollen grains carry the male gametes to female structures. They are frequent in the ambient air, and cause airway inflammation in one out of four persons in the population. This was traditionally attributed to soluble glycoproteins, leaking into the nasal mucosa or the conjunctiva, and able to bind antibodies. It is now more and more recognized that also other immunomodulating compounds are present. Lipids bind to Toll-like and PPAR gamma receptors belonging to antigen-presenting cells in the mammal immune system, activate invariant Natural Killer T-cells, and are able to induce a Type 2 reaction in effector cells. They may also mimic lipid mediators from mammal mast cells. Pollen grains have a rich lipodome of their own. Among the lipids that have been associated with an atopic reaction are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, glycophospholipids, sphingolipids, sterols, and oxylipids, as well as lipopolysaccharides from the microbiome on the pollen surface. Lipids can be ligands to allergenic proteins.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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