Prevention and treatment of atopic dermatitis and possible prevention of the development of allergies and asthma
Inflammatory diseases like allergies and autoimmune diseases are increasing in the Western world. These disorders are associated with a disturbed immune balance and lack of immunological tolerance.
Therefore there is a wide interest in the development of safe immune modulating therapies that can correct and compensate for such these immune disorders and lack of tolerance. Atopic dermatitis is an immunological manifestation that can be developed early in life as a result of strong undesirable Th2 responses. It is well acknowledged that infants suffering from atopic dermatitis have an increased risk of developing allergy and allergic asthma later in life. For this reason atopic dermatitis is often seen as the first manifestation and the starting point of the atopic march, a natural progression of allergic disorders. Prevention and/or treatment of atopic dermatitis could considerably contribute to stop this atopic march and therefore secondary prevent the development of allergies and allergic asthma.

TLR9 ligands and selected oligosaccharides have both separately and in combination shown to have beneficial immune modulatory properties skewing the response away from an allergic phenotype. This was associated with the upregulation of galectin-9, key regulator of immune homeostasis and inflammation. In this project we would like to create value for these findings by studying the synergistic effects of TLR ligands and oligosaccharides clinically in patient groups suffering from atopic dermatitis and provide preclinical validation on immune modulatory properties of these in the development of related immune disorders. Moreover, galectin-9 will be studied as potentially interesting biomarker in immune disorders.

Fast facts
Full project title: Synergistic effects of TLR ligands and oligosaccharides
Start date: 1 January 2012
End date: 1 June 2015
Goal: Create clinical value for the synergy between oligosaccharides and TLR ligands studying this concept in infants suffering from atopic dermatitis
Principal investigator: Leon Knippels
Project size: 15 FTE's
Project budget: 2513 k€
Partners: Danone Research, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam

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