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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 6865758, 7 pages
Review Article

Immunoregulatory Role of HLA-G in Allergic Diseases

1Department of Internal Medicine, Scleroderma Unit, Clinical Immunology Unit, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy
2Department of Internal Medicine, Respiratory and Allergy Diseases Unit, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy

Received 26 April 2016; Accepted 25 May 2016

Academic Editor: Nathalie Rouas-Freiss

Copyright © 2016 Giuseppe Murdaca 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.


Allergic diseases are sustained by a T-helper 2 polarization leading to interleukin-4 secretion, IgE-dependent inflammation, and mast cell and eosinophil activation. HLA-G molecules, both in membrane-bound and in soluble forms, play a central role in modulation of immune responses. Elevated levels of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) molecules are detected in serum of patients with allergic rhinitis to seasonal and perennial allergens and correlate with allergen-specific IgE levels, clinical severity, drug consumption, and response to allergen-specific immunotherapy. sHLA-G molecules are also found in airway epithelium of patients with allergic asthma and high levels of sHLA-G molecules are detectable in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage of asthmatic patients correlating with allergen-specific IgE levels. Finally, HLA-G molecules are expressed by T cells, monocytes-macrophages, and Langerhans cells infiltrating the dermis of atopic dermatitis patients. Collectively, although at present it is difficult to completely define the role of HLA-G molecules in allergic diseases, it may be suggested that they are expressed and secreted by immune cells during the allergic reaction in an attempt to suppress allergic inflammation.