Sensitization

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Sensitization is an "immunization" process caused by the "exposure to allergens that results in the development of hypersensitivity"[1].

The first exposure to an antigen will lead to sensitization which results in the development of allergic reaction for subsequent exposures.

During the first exposure to antigen, B lymphocytes that detect the antigen will stimulateImmunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies production. The 'binding of IgE antibodies to high affinity IgE receptors, FcεRI on the surface of mast cells' will lead to the formation of 'IgE binding cells'[2].

Through these steps, the individual has become sensitized to that antigen [3]. The subsequent exposure to the same allergens will trigger the activation of IgE binding cells (mast cells) to secrete the granule contents which cause the allergic symptoms[4].

References

  1. TheFreeDictionary.com. sensitization [Internet]. 2015 [cited 3 December 2015]. Available from: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sensitization
  2. Murphy K, Travers P, Walport M, Janeway C. (2012) Janeway’s Immunobiology (571 – 581), 8th edition, New York: Garland Science.
  3. Murphy K, Travers P, Walport M, Janeway C. (2012) Janeway’s Immunobiology (571 – 581), 8th edition, New York: Garland Science.
  4. Murphy K, Travers P, Walport M, Janeway C. (2012) Janeway’s Immunobiology (571 – 581), 8th edition, New York: Garland Science.
 
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