DNA-based immunotherapy to treat atopic disease.
OBJECTIVE: To review the current literature regarding DNA-based immunotherapy with respect to signaling mechanisms, cytokine profiles, and the applicability and success of this strategy to treat allergic disease. DATA SOURCES: English-language articles were identified from the PubMed database using both standard and clinical queries. Search terms included CpG, allergy, atopic disease, immunotherapy, DNA vaccination, immunomodulation, and immunostimulatory DNA. Other sources included bibliographies from relevant articles. STUDY SELECTION: Recent studies that provide information about the mechanisms or applications of DNA-based immunotherapy with respect to atopic disease are included in this review. RESULTS: DNA-based immunotherapy composed of unmethylated CpG repeats is capable of inducing a shift in the cytokine profile and immune response that favors the T(H)1 arm. This observation makes DNA-based immunotherapy a promising candidate for the treatment of atopic diseases, which are known to be mediated by T(H)2-based responses. Early animal and human trials of DNA-based immunotherapy have shown the strategy to be both safe and effective. CONCLUSIONS: DNA-based immunotherapy, although still in the early stages of development, has thus far been shown to be both safe and effective for a variety of atopic diseases and offers the potential for significant improvements over current immunotherapy protocols.
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