Dieselruß und allergien

Translated title of the contribution: Diesel soot and allergic diseases

Christa Lemmen, Wolfgang Schober, Jeroen Buters, Heidrun Behrendt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Allergic diseases today represent a large environmental medical problem. Epidemiologic investigations have shown that the prevalence of allergic diseases has increased worldwide within the last decades. A factor for the development of this multicausal process could be the allergy-promoting role of anthropogenic air pollutants. In vitro and in vivo studies with mice demonstrated that diesel soot particles increase IgE production in allergic processes. Effects on IgE formation are independent of the kind of application (intraperitoneal, intranasal, intratracheal, inhalatory) and can also be observed with organic extracts from diesel soot. This contradicts a simple adjuvant mechanism that particles would act passively as transporters for allergens and extend their retention time in the airways. The experimental evidence obtained in animals is confirmed by the few available provocation tests with diesel soot in humans. In vitro findings indicate that the specific effect of diesel soot on IgE formation is predominantly triggered by organic substances adsorbed to the particles (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and independent of the particle nature. The allergy-promoting effect of diesel soot is well documented. Basis mechanisms cover different levels: -increase of allergen-specific IgE synthesis in sensitized or predisposed individuals, -inflammatory and irritative effects on the mucous membranes, -modulation of allergen release from natural allergen carriers (pollen grains). Measures of emission control are necessary for risk reduction. In particular, the installation of particle filters substantially reduces the health-endangering potential of diesel engine emissions. Such filter systems were repeatedly demanded by the "Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen" and would benefit both allergic and non-allergic individuals equally.

Translated title of the contributionDiesel soot and allergic diseases
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalAllergo Journal
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

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