Increasing evidence suggests that alveolar macrophages (AM) are involved in asthma pathogenesis. To better understand the role that these cells play, we investigated the capacity of AM from allergy-resistant rat, Sprague Dawley (SD), to modulate airway hyperresponsiveness of allergy-susceptible rat, Brown Norway (BN). AM of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized BN rats were eliminated by intratracheal instillation of liposomes containing clodronate. AM from OVA-sensitized SD rats were transferred into AM-depleted BN rats 24 h before allergen challenge. Airway responsiveness to methacholine was measured the following day. Instillation of liposomes containing clodronate in BN rats eliminated 85% AM after 3 d compared with saline liposomes. Methacholine concentration needed to increase lung resistance by 200% (EC200RL) was significantly lower in OVA-challenged BN rats (27.9 +/- 2.8 mg/ml) compared with SD rats (63.9 +/- 8.6 mg/ml). However, when AM from SD rats were transferred into AM-depleted BN rats, airway responsiveness (64.0 +/- 11.3 mg/ml) was reduced to the level of naïve rats (54.4 +/- 3.7 mg/ml) in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, transfer of AM from BN rats into SD rats did not modulate airway responsiveness. To our knowledge, this is the first direct evidence showing that AM may protect against the development of airway hyperresponsiveness.
Comment In: Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2004 Jul;31(1):1-215208095
Comment In: Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2004 Jul;31(1):3-715208096
BACKGROUND: We have previously reported an association between low IgA and allergic manifestations in early childhood (0-2 years) and have now followed our cohort for an additional 2 years. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate in a longitudinal community-based cohort study the association between maturation of Ig production and allergic manifestations in the first 4 years of life. METHODS: A cohort of 161 randomly selected children was followed from birth to the age of 42-48 months and evaluated at 18-23 months (EV1; n = 179) and again at the age of 42-48 months (EV2; n = 161). Diagnoses were made with the help of a clinical questionnaire, physical examination and skin prick tests (SPTs) to 10 common allergens. Serum immunoglobulins were measured at EV1 and EV2, and salivary IgA (sal-IgA) at EV2. RESULTS: Serum IgA, IgE, IgG1, IgG2 and IgG4 increased from 2 to 4 years of age (P
Beta-Lactoglobulin (BLG) is a clinically important antigen in cow's milk and one of the major allergens causing cow's milk allergy. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination has been suggested to modify immune response possibly decreasing the risk of allergy to some antigens in both human and experimental animals. In the present study, we have analyzed whether the early BCG vaccination has any effect on the markers of systemic and gastrointestinal (GI) sensitization to BLG. We immunized two groups of Hooded-Lister rat puppets with intraperitoneal injections of native BLG at 43 and 62 days with pertussis vaccine as adjuvant, one group receiving additionally BCG. The animals were then fed native and denatured milk products twice weekly from 73 to 131 days of age, when they were killed. Control group was not vaccinated and received normal rat forage. Total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels and BLG-specific IgG(1) and IgG(2a) concentrations were determined in serum samples. Spontaneous interleukin (IL)-4 and interferon (IFN)-gamma production from duodenal specimens were measured, and the inflammatory cells were quantitated in specimens from different sections of the GI tract. Administration of BCG simultaneously with BLG resulted in reduced IgE concentration in serum, while the specific IgG(1) and IgG(2a) antibody responses and the spontaneous secretion of IL-4 and IFN-gamma were not affected. Furthermore, BCG-induced eosinophilic infiltration and increase of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) in the GI mucosa, and a trend toward increased number of lamina propria mononuclear inflammatory cells in the colon (BCG compared with BLG, p = 0.09; BCG compared with controls, p = 0.02). Controls showed increment of IgG(1) response in comparison with the BLG group (p = 0.04) and increase of mucosal eosinophilic infiltration. The BCG modified the response to BLG both at the systemic level as shown by decrease of total IgE and at GI mucosa where increase of eosinophilic infiltration and increased number of IEL were seen. Increment of IgG(1) level and eosinophils in the controls might be related with the lack of modulatory effect of pertussis vaccination. A shift of response toward the lower GI tract after BCG immunization as shown by a trend for increase of mononuclear inflammatory cells in colon lamina propria mimics disease development in some cases of clinical food allergy, and emphasizes the need for evaluation of the changes in the whole GI tract in food allergy models.
The structural characteristics of diisocyanate chemical protein antigens vary depending upon the methods of production, and may influence diisocyanate antigen immunoassays. The impact of different antigen preparation methods on immunoassay sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value for identifying workers with diisocyanate asthma (DA) has not been systematically evaluated.
Evaluate the influence of preparation methodology of hexamethylene diisocyanate human serum albumin (HDI-HSA) conjugates on the performance of specific antibody assays for identifying workers with confirmed HDI asthma.
Asthmatic reactions to HDI exposure were assessed in 80 autobody shop workers by specific inhalation challenge (SIC). HDI-specific IgE and IgG in serum were measured by RAST and ELISA with seven different HDI-HSA conjugates prepared in liquid phase with monomeric or polymeric HDI, or vapour-phase monomeric HDI. The HDI : HSA substitution ratios were determined by mass spectrometry.
DA was confirmed by SIC in 23 subjects. The maximal sensitivity for detecting specific IgE among workers with positive SIC results was higher with RAST and with polymeric vs. monomeric HDI-albumin conjugates (21.7% vs. 8.7%) with a generally high specificity (>or=95%). HDI-HSA specific IgG antibody was also detected in 22-43% of HDI asthmatics depending upon the conjugate used. The specificity of specific IgG varied from 88% to 96%, and it was higher for monomeric (vs. polymeric) HDI-albumin conjugates with low (vs. high) substitution ratios.
The test performance of specific IgE and IgG immunoassays for identifying a positive SIC response varied with different HDI-HSA conjugates. Standard test antigens and common immunoassays must be used to minimize inter-laboratory variability.
BACKGROUND: Trimellitic anhydride (TMA)-induced occupational asthma is thought to be associated with its ability to acylate proteins and to induce production of TMA-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E. Though the respiratory tract is considered to be a major exposure route leading to airway sensitization, the potential role of dermal exposure producing asthmatic sensitization is not known. The present study examines the ability of dry TMA powder to sensitize Brown Norway rats when applied, topically, to the skin. METHODS: A patch of hair was carefully clipped with scissors on the rat's back. Dry TMA powder (0.3, 1.25, 5 and 20 mg) was administered on days 0, 7, 14 and 21, and the area occluded with surgical tape overnight after each application. Residual powder recovered from the occluded skin was analyzed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance and was still predominantly TMA. Circulating anti-TMA IgE and IgG were measured by ELISA. RESULTS: TMA elicited dose-dependent production of specific IgE and IgG. Specific antibodies were detectable 2 weeks after the first TMA exposure and peaked between 3 and 4 weeks. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that topical skin exposure to dry TMA powder can induce allergic/immunological sensitization as demonstrated by the production of specific antibodies.
Early nutritional events have the potential to affect health outcomes in later life including the development of allergy. Food allergy is usually the first manifestation of allergy. Breast-feeding has been associated with a protective effect against the development of allergy, but the evidence is contradictory and the mechanisms involved are not clear. We hypothesize that milk cytokines, such as transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), play a role in regulating immune responses to dietary antigens. Using a rat pup model of gastrostomy feeding, the immune response profile, at weaning and post-weaning, of allergy-prone Brown Norway rats fed formula supplementation with TGF-beta was assessed. We show that feeding formula to allergy-prone rat pups results in increased total IgE immunoglobulin, beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) IgG1 antibody, and mucosal mast cell activation, as measured by serum rat mast cell protease II (RMCPII) levels in the gut. Supplementation of formula with physiological levels of TGF-beta down-regulated the BLG IgG1 response as well as total IgE and mucosal mast cell activation. Supplementation of formula also resulted in an increase in Th1 cytokines, interleukin (IL)-18, IL-12p40, IL-12p35, and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and an increase in IL-10. In conclusion, TGF-beta supplementation of formula moved the immune response profile of allergy prone (Th2 type) rat pups toward a Th1 profile in the suckling period. Importantly, this immune profile persisted after weaning when TGF-beta was no longer present in the diet.
An observed increase in asthma admissions in Oslo during the 1980s prompted a prospective birth cohort study to ask the following question: was air pollution (outdoor and indoor) (in a broad sense) associated with asthma development in young children? During 12 months from 1 January 1992, 3,754 children (birth weight > or = 2,000 g) in Oslo were enrolled at birth into the Environment and Childhood Asthma (ECA) study and followed to 2 years of age (ECA-part I). Cord blood, a detailed questionnaire (family and pregnancy history of disease, environmental exposures, socio-economic status) completed by the mother and lung function measurements (n = 803) were collated at birth. Detailed questionnaires completed every 6 months for 2 years included the child's disease history, feeding habits and environmental exposures. A nested case-control study comprised 306 children with confirmed minimum two episodes of bronchial obstruction (rBO) and 306 controls (without lower respiratory tract disease) with clinical investigations (including tidal breathing lung function, beta-2 responsiveness and allergy assessment) and environmental exposure assessments (indoor and outdoor). Home dampness and low ventilation, as well as maternal smoking in pregnancy, but not outdoor air pollution increased the risk of rBO. Lung function at birth was decreased among newborns whose mother smoked during pregnancy. To understand better the early risk factors for asthma and allergy development, a follow-up study started (in 2001; ECA-part II) of all cases and controls, and those with lung function measured at birth (total 1,230 invited) (9-10 years of age). This involved clinical investigation, allergy assessments, lung function, airway hyper responsiveness measures, exhaled nitric oxide and immunological as well as allergen exposure investigations.
High levels of total IgE are observed among children in Greenland. To evaluate the extent to which Anisakidae and Trichinella spp. contribute to the high total IgE level, an ELISA and a western blot were developed for the detection of IgG antibodies to Anisakidae, based on excretory/secretory antigens from Anisakidae larvae. Western blots with Anisakidae and Trichinella antigens discriminated between Anisakidae and Trichinella infections, enabling cross-reactivity between the two parasite infections to be eliminated. Serum samples from 1012 children in Greenland were analysed for specific antibodies to Anisakidae and Trichinella. Eleven children were IgG-positive for Trichinella and nine were IgG-positive for Anisakidae, indicating a relatively low prevalence of both infections among children in Greenland. Faecal samples from 320 children were also examined for other intestinal parasites. Enterobius vermicularis was found in one sample and Blastocystis hominis in 32 samples, but no other intestinal parasites were identified. In total, 304 children had elevated total IgE levels. There was a significant association between Trichinella seropositivity and high levels of total IgE, but not between Anisakidae seropositivity and total IgE. The data indicate that parasitic infections alone do not explain the high level of total IgE observed among children in Greenland.
Although health risks to pesticides containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been minimal, the potential allergenicity of these organisms has not been evaluated. Therefore, a health survey was conducted in farm workers before and after exposure to Bt pesticides. Farm workers who picked vegetables that required Bt pesticide spraying were evaluated before the initial spraying operation (n = 48) and 1 and 4 months after (n = 32 and 20, respectively). Two groups of low- (n = 44) and medium- (n = 34) exposure workers not directly exposed to Bt spraying were also assessed. The investigation included questionnaires, nasal/mouth lavages, ventilatory function assessment, and skin tests to indigenous aeroallergens and to a variety of Bt spore and vegetative preparations. To authenticate exposure to the organism present in the commercial preparation, isolates from lavage specimens were tested for Bt genes by DNA-DNA hybridization. Humoral immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody responses to spore and vegetative Bt extracts were assayed. There was no evidence of occupationally related respiratory symptoms. Positive skin-prick tests to several spore extracts were seen chiefly in exposed workers. In particular, there was a significant (p
The efficacy of standardized Juniperus ashei extract was assessed in patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis due to European cypress pollens.
Forty adults with European cypress-allergic rhinoconjunctivitis were randomized to receive immunotherapy or a matched placebo. Specific immunotherapy was performed with a standardized, aluminum hydroxide-adsorbed J. ashei extract with a potency of 100 IR (arbitrary index of reactivity) containing 54 microg of Jun a 1/ml (Alustal, Stallergenes, France). Subcutaneous injections started in October 2000. The maintenance dose was 0.30 ml of the 100-IR concentration per month. Rhinitis and conjunctivitis symptoms were rated according to a 4-point score.
Seventeen patients from the treated group and 15 patients from the placebo group completed year 2001; 14 in each group completed year 2002. A statistically significant improvement (41%, p