Mechanisms Underlying Induction of Tolerance to Foods

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2016 Feb;36(1):87-102. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2015.08.002.


Oral tolerance refers to a systemic immune nonresponsiveness to antigens first encountered by the oral route, and a failure in development of this homeostatic process can result in food allergy. Clinical tolerance induced by allergen immunotherapy is associated with alterations in immune mechanisms relevant to the allergic response, including reduction of basophil reactivity, induction of IgG4, loss of effector Th2 cells, and induction of Tregs. The relative contribution of these immune changes to clinical tolerance to foods, and the duration of these immune changes after termination of immunotherapy, remains to be identified.

Keywords: Foxp3; IgE; IgG4; Immunotherapy; Microbiota; Tolerance; Treg.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Desensitization, Immunologic*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G