Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 381737, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/381737
Review Article

Therapeutic Effects and Biomarkers in Sublingual Immunotherapy: A Review

1Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, Yokohama Institute, RIKEN, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan
2Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohara, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan

Received 22 July 2011; Accepted 15 November 2011

Academic Editor: Nerin N. Bahceciler

Copyright © 2012 Takashi Fujimura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Immunotherapy is considered to be the only curative treatment for allergic diseases such as pollinosis, perennial rhinitis, asthma, and food allergy. The sublingual route is widely applied for immunotherapy for allergy, instead of the conventional administration by subcutaneous route. A recent meta-analysis of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has shown that this approach is safe, has positive clinical effects, and provides prolonged therapeutic effects after discontinuation of treatment. However, the mechanism of SLIT and associated biomarkers are not fully understood. Biomarkers that change after or during SLIT have been reported and may be useful for response monitoring or as prognostic indicators for SLIT. In this review, we focus on the safety, therapeutic effects, including prolonged effects after treatment, and new methods of SLIT. We also discuss response monitoring and prognostic biomarkers for SLIT. Finally, we discuss immunological mechanisms of SLIT with a focus on oral dendritic cells and facilitated antigen presentation.