Research Topic

Innate Cells in the Pathogenesis of Food Allergy

About this Research Topic

Food allergy is an adverse reaction to dietary antigens that results from a breakdown of immune tolerance to ingested foods. The prevalence of food allergy has risen dramatically in the last few decades. Food allergy has significant morbidity, dramatically impairs quality of life, and creates a tremendous burden on our healthcare system. Although important advances have been made in understanding the breakdown of tolerance and the resultant reactions to food antigens, many aspects of the deviation of the immune response causing food allergy remain unclear. The involvement of IgE and increased T helper 2 (Th2) immune responses in these patients indicate that defects in adaptive immunity are part of the pathogenesis of food allergy. However, non-IgE-mediated food allergy disorders such eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a chronic allergic disease characterized by excessive accumulation of eosinophils in the esophagus, indicate that additional pathways also participate in adverse reactions to food antigens. This suggests that the cells involved are often not part of the adaptive immune system. In addition, a number of genetic and environmental factors that predispose to food allergy and EoE implicate innate cells in the allergic diathesis, including epithelial cells and innate immune cells . Despite current advances, the underlying causes of inappropriate activation and regulation of the innate immune system in food allergy and EoE remain poorly understood.

Given the growing evidence that changes in innate immune function contribute to the pathogenesis of food allergy, the goal of this Research Topic is to provide insight into the role of innate immune cells in the development of food allergy and EoE. This issue will focus on functional alterations of gastrointestinal mucosal and submucosal cells with emphasis on molecular, cellular, and intercellular mechanisms leading to increased sensitization/uptake of food allergens, increased number or activity of effector cells critical in allergic immune responses and inflammatory pathways.

We welcome the submission of Original Research, Review and Mini-Review articles, or General Commentaries that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• The role of epithelium in antigen sensitization and/or allergic immune responses
• Mechanisms by which innate immune cells at non-intestinal sites contribute to food allergy and EoE
• Role of innate immune cells (mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, NK cells, ILC) in initiating and/or perpetuating allergic inflammation in food allergy and EoE
• Inflammatory mediators (cytokines, chemokines, alarmins, enzymes) expressed by innate cells that drive the development of food allergy and EoE
• Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that promote the development of food allergy and EoE by affecting the development, phenotype, and/or function of innate cells
• Effects of microbiota on epithelium and/or innate immune cells that influence food allergy and/or EoE
• Role of environmental factors in modulating innate immunity in a manner that promotes allergic immune responses in food allergy and EoE
• Alterations of innate cells by cofactors (i.e. NSAIDs, alcohol, exercise, etc) and their influence in food allergy
• Role of innate cells in severity of IgE-mediated reactions


Prof. Simon Hogan is the co-inventor on patent PCT/US2018/018618 Inhibition of Unfolded Protein response for Suppressing or preventing allergic reaction to food. All other Topic Editors declare no potential conflicts of interest with regard to the topic theme.


Keywords: food allergy, EoE, gastrointestinal epithelium, innate immune cells, antigen passage, Eosinophilic Esophagitis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Food allergy is an adverse reaction to dietary antigens that results from a breakdown of immune tolerance to ingested foods. The prevalence of food allergy has risen dramatically in the last few decades. Food allergy has significant morbidity, dramatically impairs quality of life, and creates a tremendous burden on our healthcare system. Although important advances have been made in understanding the breakdown of tolerance and the resultant reactions to food antigens, many aspects of the deviation of the immune response causing food allergy remain unclear. The involvement of IgE and increased T helper 2 (Th2) immune responses in these patients indicate that defects in adaptive immunity are part of the pathogenesis of food allergy. However, non-IgE-mediated food allergy disorders such eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a chronic allergic disease characterized by excessive accumulation of eosinophils in the esophagus, indicate that additional pathways also participate in adverse reactions to food antigens. This suggests that the cells involved are often not part of the adaptive immune system. In addition, a number of genetic and environmental factors that predispose to food allergy and EoE implicate innate cells in the allergic diathesis, including epithelial cells and innate immune cells . Despite current advances, the underlying causes of inappropriate activation and regulation of the innate immune system in food allergy and EoE remain poorly understood.

Given the growing evidence that changes in innate immune function contribute to the pathogenesis of food allergy, the goal of this Research Topic is to provide insight into the role of innate immune cells in the development of food allergy and EoE. This issue will focus on functional alterations of gastrointestinal mucosal and submucosal cells with emphasis on molecular, cellular, and intercellular mechanisms leading to increased sensitization/uptake of food allergens, increased number or activity of effector cells critical in allergic immune responses and inflammatory pathways.

We welcome the submission of Original Research, Review and Mini-Review articles, or General Commentaries that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• The role of epithelium in antigen sensitization and/or allergic immune responses
• Mechanisms by which innate immune cells at non-intestinal sites contribute to food allergy and EoE
• Role of innate immune cells (mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, NK cells, ILC) in initiating and/or perpetuating allergic inflammation in food allergy and EoE
• Inflammatory mediators (cytokines, chemokines, alarmins, enzymes) expressed by innate cells that drive the development of food allergy and EoE
• Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that promote the development of food allergy and EoE by affecting the development, phenotype, and/or function of innate cells
• Effects of microbiota on epithelium and/or innate immune cells that influence food allergy and/or EoE
• Role of environmental factors in modulating innate immunity in a manner that promotes allergic immune responses in food allergy and EoE
• Alterations of innate cells by cofactors (i.e. NSAIDs, alcohol, exercise, etc) and their influence in food allergy
• Role of innate cells in severity of IgE-mediated reactions


Prof. Simon Hogan is the co-inventor on patent PCT/US2018/018618 Inhibition of Unfolded Protein response for Suppressing or preventing allergic reaction to food. All other Topic Editors declare no potential conflicts of interest with regard to the topic theme.


Keywords: food allergy, EoE, gastrointestinal epithelium, innate immune cells, antigen passage, Eosinophilic Esophagitis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

05 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

05 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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