A team of researchers recently discovered a new potential target for food allergy treatments. This new research could someday lead to an effective treatment for food allergies.
Erwin Gelfand, MD, and his colleagues at National Jewish Health report that levels of the enzyme Pim 1 kinase increase in the small intestines of mice with peanut allergies. Blocking the activity of this enzyme reduced the severity of their allergic reaction when exposed to peanuts.
Dr. Gelfand, senior author and chair of pediatrics at National Jewish Health, commented, “Our data identified for the first time that Pim1 kinase contributes in important ways to the development of peanut-induced allergic responses…
“Pim 1, and its associated transcription factor, Runx3, play a crucial role in allergic reactions to peanuts. As such, they offer promising new targets for the treatment of allergic reactions to peanuts, and possibly other foods.”
Possible Treatment for Peanut Allergies
It is speculated that this groundbreaking research could lead to a treatment of food allergies which aims at inhibiting the action of the Pim 1 enzyme. However, such treatments are still in early development phases and are not expected to become available for at least several years.
The research was published in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.