Type 2-immunity represents the typical adaptive response to allergen exposure in atopic individuals. It mainly involves Th2 cells and immunoglobulin E, as the main orchestrators of type 2-inflammation. Recently, it has been highlighted that allergens may be responsible for a Th2 response beside specific IgE activation and that a number of other environmental stimuli, such as viruses and pollutants, can trigger the same pattern of inflammation beyond atopy. Emerging data sustain a substantial role of the so-called epithelial dysfunction in asthma pathogenesis, both from anatomic and functional point of view. Furthermore an increasing amount of evidence demonstrates the relevance of innate immunity in polarizing a Th2 impaired response in asthmatic patients. Under this perspective, the complex cross-talking between airway epithelium, innate and adaptive immunity is emerging as a major determinant of type 2-inflammation beyond allergens. This review will include an update on the relevance of dysregulation of innate and adaptive type 2-immunity in asthma pathogenesis, particularly severe asthma, and on the role of the allergens that are associated with severe asthma. Type 2-immunity also will be reviewed in the light of the current and upcoming targeted treatments for severe asthma.
Keywords: Adaptive immunity; Allergic sensitization; Asthma; Biologicals; Epithelial dysfunction; Innate immunity; Severe asthma; Type 2 inflammation.