(1/3663) Interleukin-8 receptor modulates IgE production and B-cell expansion and trafficking in allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation.

We examined the role of the interleukin-8 (IL-8) receptor in a murine model of allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation using mice with a targeted deletion of the murine IL-8 receptor homologue (IL-8r-/-). Wild-type (Wt) and IL-8r-/- mice were systemically immunized to ovalbumin (OVA) and were exposed with either single or multiple challenge of aerosolized phosphate-buffered saline (OVA/PBS) or OVA (OVA/OVA). Analysis of cells recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) revealed a diminished recruitment of neutrophils to the airway lumen after single challenge in IL-8r-/- mice compared with Wt mice, whereas multiply challenged IL-8r-/- mice had increased B cells and fewer neutrophils compared with Wt mice. Both Wt and IL-8r-/- OVA/OVA mice recruited similar numbers of eosinophils to the BAL fluid and exhibited comparable degrees of pulmonary inflammation histologically. Both total and OVA-specific IgE levels were greater in multiply challenged IL-8r-/- OVA/OVA mice than in Wt mice. Both the IL-8r-/- OVA/OVA and OVA/PBS mice were significantly less responsive to methacholine than their respective Wt groups, but both Wt and IL-8r mice showed similar degrees of enhancement after multiple allergen challenge. The data demonstrate that the IL-8r modulates IgE production, airway responsiveness, and the composition of the cells (B cells and neutrophils) recruited to the airway lumen in response to antigen.  (+info)

(2/3663) Molecular cloning and epitope analysis of the peanut allergen Ara h 3.

Peanut allergy is a significant IgE-mediated health problem because of the increased prevalence, potential severity, and chronicity of the reaction. Following our characterization of the two peanut allergens Ara h 1 and Ara h 2, we have isolated a cDNA clone encoding a third peanut allergen, Ara h 3. The deduced amino acid sequence of Ara h 3 shows homology to 11S seed-storage proteins. The recombinant form of this protein was expressed in a bacterial system and was recognized by serum IgE from approximately 45% of our peanut-allergic patient population. Serum IgE from these patients and overlapping, synthetic peptides were used to map the linear, IgE-binding epitopes of Ara h 3. Four epitopes, between 10 and 15 amino acids in length, were found within the primary sequence, with no obvious sequence motif shared by the peptides. One epitope is recognized by all Ara h 3-allergic patients. Mutational analysis of the epitopes revealed that single amino acid changes within these peptides could lead to a reduction or loss of IgE binding. By determining which amino acids are critical for IgE binding, it might be possible to alter the Ara h 3 cDNA to encode a protein with a reduced IgE-binding capacity. These results will enable the design of improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for food-hypersensitivity reactions.  (+info)

(3/3663) Cockroach allergy and asthma in a 30-year-old man.

A growing body of evidence has implicated allergens derived from cockroaches as an important environmental factor that may aggravate asthma in sensitized persons. We present the case of a 30-year-old man with asthma and a cockroach allergy. Allergy skin testing confirmed hypersensitivity to cockroach extract, and a home visit revealed visual evidence of infestation and the presence of Bla g 1 German cockroach allergen in vacuumed dust. As is typical of patients with a cockroach allergy and asthma, multiple factors in addition to cockroach allergen appeared to aggravate the patient's asthma. A multimodality therapeutic regimen, which included medications as well as cleaning of the home, integrated pest management, and professional application of chemical controls, resulted in substantial clinical improvement. The pathophysiology, epidemiology, and clinical features of cockroach-allergic asthma are reviewed, and an approach to diagnosis and management is suggested.  (+info)

(4/3663) Exhaled and nasal NO levels in allergic rhinitis: relation to sensitization, pollen season and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.

Exhaled nitric oxide is a potential marker of lower airway inflammation. Allergic rhinitis is associated with asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. To determine whether or not nasal and exhaled NO concentrations are increased in allergic rhinitis and to assess the relation between hyperresponsiveness and exhaled NO, 46 rhinitic and 12 control subjects, all nonasthmatic nonsmokers without upper respiratory tract infection, were randomly selected from a large-scale epidemiological survey in Central Norway. All were investigated with flow-volume spirometry, methacholine provocation test, allergy testing and measurement of nasal and exhaled NO concentration in the nonpollen season. Eighteen rhinitic subjects completed an identical follow-up investigation during the following pollen season. Exhaled NO was significantly elevated in allergic rhinitis in the nonpollen season, especially in perennially sensitized subjects, as compared with controls (p=0.01), and increased further in the pollen season (p=0.04), mainly due to a two-fold increase in those with seasonal sensitization. Nasal NO was not significantly different from controls in the nonpollen season and did not increase significantly in the pollen season. Exhaled NO was increased in hyperresponsive subjects, and decreased significantly after methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction, suggesting that NO production occurs in the peripheral airways. In allergic rhinitis, an increase in exhaled nitric oxide on allergen exposure, particularly in hyperresponsive subjects, may be suggestive of airway inflammation and an increased risk for developing asthma.  (+info)

(5/3663) Compliance and stability of the bronchial wall in a model of allergen-induced lung inflammation.

Airway wall remodeling in response to inflammation might alter load on airway smooth muscle and/or change airway wall stability. We therefore determined airway wall compliance and closing pressures in an animal model. Weanling pigs were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA; ip and sc, n = 6) and were subsequently challenged three times with OVA aerosol. Control pigs received 0.9% NaCl (n = 4) in place of OVA aerosol. Bronchoconstriction in vivo was assessed from lung resistance and dynamic compliance. Semistatic airway compliance was recorded ex vivo in isolated segments of bronchus, after the final OVA aerosol or 0.9% NaCl challenge. Internally or externally applied pressure needed to close bronchial segments was determined in the absence or presence of carbachol (1 microM). Sensitized pig lungs exhibited immediate bronchoconstriction to OVA aerosol and also peribronchial accumulations of monocytes and granulocytes. Compliance was reduced in sensitized bronchi in vitro (P < 0.01), and closing pressures were increased (P < 0.05). In the presence of carbachol, closing pressures of control and sensitized bronchi were not different. We conclude that sensitization and/or inflammation increases airway load and airway stability.  (+info)

(6/3663) A genome-wide screen for asthma-associated quantitative trait loci in a mouse model of allergic asthma.

Asthma is the most common illness of childhood, affecting one child in seven in the UK. Asthma has a genetic basis, but genetic studies of asthma in humans are confounded by uncontrolled environmental factors, varying penetrance and phenotypic pleiotropy. An animal model of asthma would offer controlled exposure, limited and consistent genetic variation, and unlimited size of sibships. Following immunization and subsequent challenge with ovalbumin, the Biozzi BP2 mouse shows features of asthma, including airway inflammation, eosinophil infiltration and non-specific bronchial responsiveness. In order to identify genetic loci influencing these traits, a cross was made between BP2 and BALB/c mice, and a genome-wide screen carried out in the F2progeny of the F1intercross. Five potentially linked loci were identified, four of which corresponded to human regions of syntenic homology that previously have shown linkage to asthma-associated traits.  (+info)

(7/3663) Strain-dependent induction of allergic sensitization caused by peanut allergen DNA immunization in mice.

To investigate the potential application of allergen gene immunization in the modulation of food allergy, C3H/HeSn (C3H) mice received i.m. injections of pAra h2 plasmid DNA encoding one of the major peanut allergens, Ara h2. Three weeks following pDNA immunization, serum Ara h2-specific IgG2a, IgG1, but not IgE, were increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner. IgG1 was 30-fold higher in multiply compared with singly immunized mice. Ara h2 or peanut protein injection of immunized mice induced anaphylactic reactions, which were more severe in multiply immunized mice. Heat-inactivated immune serum induced passive cutaneous anaphylaxis, suggesting that anaphylaxis in C3H mice was mediated by IgG1. IgG1 responses were also induced by intradermal injection of pAra h2, and by i.m. injection of pOMC, the plasmid DNA encoding the major egg allergen protein, ovomucoid. To elucidate whether the pDNA immunization-induced anaphylaxis was a strain-dependent phenomenon, AKR/J and BALB/c mice also received multiple i.m. pAra h2 immunizations. Injection of peanut protein into these strains at weeks 3 or 5 following immunization did not induce reactions. Although IgG2a was increased significantly from week 2 in AKR/J mice and from week 4 in BALB/c mice and remained elevated for at least 6 wk, no IgG1 or IgE was detected. These results indicate that the type of immune responses to pDNA immunization in mice is strain dependent. Consequently, models for studying human allergen gene immunization require careful selection of suitable strains. In addition, this suggests that similar interindividual variation is likely in humans.  (+info)

(8/3663) Process and current status of the epidemiologic studies on cedar pollinosis in Japan.

This paper reviews the present situation and future aspects of epidemiologic studies on Japanese cedar pollinosis. Increase of allergic rhinitis patients is observed in both the Patient Survey and the Reports on the Surveys of Social Medical Care Insurance Services, however, these surveys are conducted when cedar pollens do not pollute the air. Many have reported on the prevalence of pollinosis in limited areas but only a few nationwide epidemiologic surveys have been conducted. Most of the studies were conducted at special medical facilities such as university hospitals. There is a high possibility that patients who visit the specific facilities do not exactly represent the actual number of patients and epidemiologic pictures of pollinosis in Japan. The rapid advances in laboratory test methods may change the diagnostic criteria and increase the number of reported patients. Therefore, the prevalence of Japanese cedar pollinosis in Japan has not been determined yet. Determination of the prevalence of cedar pollinosis and description of the epidemiologic pictures constitute the essential steps toward the control of this clinical entity. Thus it is necessary to conduct an epidemiologic survey on Japanese representative samples with a standardized survey form with clear and concise diagnostic criteria.  (+info)