News Release

Verifying the cause of allergic disorders

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

Allergies are one of the most common health conditions in the world that affect 10 to 20% of Koreans. Although the disorder is accompanied by mild symptoms, it can lead to anaphylaxis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity to an environmental antigen. A leading cause of the disorder has been known as excessive production of the E-type immunoglobulin but the reason why its concentration is maintained high in certain patients has not been identified.


Recently, a POSTECH research team led by Professor Jong Kyoung Kim (Department of Life Sciences) in collaboration with Professor You Jeong Lee at (College of Pharmacy) at Seoul National University has verified for the first time that plasma B cells secreting E-type immunoglobulin were present in the thymus of mice models. In addition, the research team confirmed that the thymus-derived E-type immunoglobulin promotes food-induced anaphylactic reactions by increasing the number of mast cells in the intestine. This study is the first study to identify the origin and development of E-type immunoglobulin and mast cells that cause allergic disorders.


The findings from this study are significant in that they identified the origin of the unknown E-type immunoglobulin and its role in allergic disorders, which will help to make meaningful advances in the study of therapeutics for allergic disorders and anaphylaxis in the future.

Recently published in Nature Communications, this study was conducted with the support from the POSCO Science Fellowship of the POSCO TJ Park Foundation, the Mid-Career Researcher Program, the Original Technology Research Program for Brain Science, Bio & Medical Technology Development Program, and the Engineering Research Center Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea.

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