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Mechanisms of preventative and therapeutic role of probiotics in different allergic and autoimmune disorders

DOI: 10.4236/oji.2013.33015, PP. 103-118

Keywords: Probiotics, Allergic Disease, Autoimmune Disease, Atopic Dermatitis, Asthma

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The prevalence of allergic and autoimmune diseases has been increasing from the last decades of 20th century. Intestinal microflora contributes to antigen exposure in early life and is one of the most abundant sources of early immune stimulation as well as adaptation. Because allergic and autoimmune responses manifest early in life, there has been obvious interest in the potential benefits of modifying the gastrointestinal flora by using probiotic supplementation. So far, there have been several studies to address the role of probiotics in primary prevention and therapy, with a reported suspicious reduction in the incidence of atopic and autoimmune diseases. Here, our aim is to evaluate the available knowledge of mechanisms of preventative and therapeutic role of probiotics in different allergic and autoimmune disorders. Promising mechanisms of probiotic effects may be categorized as local and systemic effects. Local influences of probiotics potentially include reduction of gut permeability and systemic penetration of antigens, increased local immunoglobulin A production, and alteration of local inflammation or tolerance induction. Some possible systemic effects consist of anti-inflammatory effects mediated by Th17 cells and Toll-like receptors, Th1 skewing of responses to allergens, activation of tolerogenic dendritic cells, in addition to T-regulatory cell production.


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