Trends Immunol. 2003 Sep;24(9):479-84
Pedotti R, De Voss JJ, Steinman L, Galli SJ.
Immunology and Muscular Pathology Unit, National Neurological Institute 'C. Besta', 20133, Milan, Italy
Allergic and autoimmune diseases have been considered to be at the opposite sides of the spectrum of the immune response.
Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, are considered T helper 1 (Th1)-mediated diseases, and allergic disorders, such as asthma, food allergy or rhinitis, are considered to be Th2-mediated.
In this Opinion, we present evidence for the hypothesis that, elements of the immune response classically associated with allergy, importantly contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), in both the human disease, MS, and its animal model, experimental autoimmune (formerly 'allergic') encephalomyelitis.
Autoimmune demyelinating diseases of the CNS, and other autoimmune diseases, can reflect the interplay of both Th1- and Th2-associated mechanisms.