New research from a multi-institutional collaboration of investigators has found that immune cells in the lungs which are starved of certain nutrients do not react to allergens. The research could lead to new treatment pathways for a variety of allergies.

The findings specifically note how tissue inflammation and reaction can be driven by cell nutrition. It could be used to create treatments for a variety of ailments ranging from asthma to food allergy.

Inhibiting ILC activity greatly reduced allergic reaction in the study.

In the published study, the researchers found that inhibiting an enzyme called Arginase-1 changes the metabolism in a class of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). It cuts off a critical nutrient supply, preventing reaction.

The research was lead by Dr. Laurel Monticelli in the Weill Cornell Medicine group and involved input from researchers at multiple institutions around the globe. Using lung tissue from patients with chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the researchers targeted and studied the ILCs within the inflamed tissue and found expressions of Arginase-1.

The research is ongoing and, researchers say, could supply therapeutic options for treatment.

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