Role of endothelin-converting enzyme, chymase and neutral endopeptidase in the processing of big ET-1, ET-1(1-21) and ET-1(1-31) in the trachea of allergic mice.
The present study examined the roles of endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE), neutral endopeptidase (NEP) and mast cell chymase as processors of the endothelin (ET) analogues ET-1(1-21), ET-1(1-31) and big ET-1 in the trachea of allergic mice. Male CBA/CaH mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (10 microg) delivered intraperitoneal on days 1 and 14, and exposed to aerosolized ovalbumin on days 14, 25, 26 and 27 (OVA mice). Mice were killed and the trachea excised for histological analysis and contraction studies on day 28. Tracheae from OVA mice had 40% more mast cells than vehicle-sensitized mice (sham mice). Ovalbumin (10 microg/ml) induced transient contractions (15+/-3% of the C(max)) in tracheae from OVA mice. The ECE inhibitor CGS35066 (10 microM) inhibited contractions induced by big ET-1 (4.8-fold rightward shift of dose-response curve; P<0.05), but not those induced by either ET-1(1-21) or ET-1(1-31). The chymase inhibitors chymostatin (10 microM) and Bowman-Birk inhibitor (10 microM) had no effect on contractions induced by any of the ET analogues used. The NEP inhibitor CGS24592 (10 microM) inhibited contractions induced by ET-1(1-31) (6.2-fold rightward shift; P<0.05) but not ET-1(1-21) or big ET-1. These data suggest that big ET-1 is processed predominantly by a CGS35066-sensitive ECE within allergic airways rather than by mast cell-derived proteases such as chymase. If endogenous ET-1(1-31) is formed within allergic airways, it is likely to undergo further conversion by NEP to more active products. (+info
Comparison of skin prick test results between crude allergen extracts from foods and commercial allergen extracts in atopic dermatitis by double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge for milk, egg, and soybean.
Skin Prick Test (SPT's) are performed to identify the causes of allergy. However, low diagnostic accuracy is a limitation to SPT, for which many possible causes have been suggested. The protein composition and allergenicity of crude allergen extracts from foods and commercial allergen extracts for SPT were analyzed. Clinical significances of SPT using crude allergen extracts from foods were compared with those using commercial allergen extracts. A total of 292 atopic dermatitis patients were involved in this study. Crude allergen extracts were prepared from milk, egg white, egg yolk, and soybean. The protein composition of food allergen extracts and commercial allergen extracts of milk, whole egg, white, egg yolk, and soybean were compared by SDS-PAGE. The allergenicity was tested by the immunoblotting method using immune sera. SPTs were performed using crude and commercial allergen. Double-blind placebo- controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) was performed to verify the SPT results and to compare the clinical significance of crude and commercial allergen extracts. Protein composition differed markedly between crude and commercial allergen extracts. By immunoblotting, crude and commercial allergen extracts showed different allergenicity. The SPT results using crude and commercial allergen extracts showed significant differences. The prevalence of milk, egg and soybean allergy was over 35% in atopic dermatitis. The accuracy of SPT using crude allergen extracts from foods was significantly higher than that using commercial allergen extracts. In the case of soybeans, the result of SPT using commercial allergen extract was clinically insignificant for the prediction of soybean allergy. The source of allergen extract was very important for the appropriate SPT in food allergy. The accuracy of SPT might be improved using the appropriate allergen source for food allergy. (+info
Fine mapping and structural analysis of immunodominant IgE allergenic epitopes in chicken egg ovalbumin.
Ovalbumin is a major allergen in hen egg white that causes IgE-mediated food allergic reactions in children. In this study, the immunodominant IgE-binding epitopes of ovalbumin were mapped using arrays of overlapping peptides synthesized on activated cellulose membranes. Pooled human sera from 18 patients with egg allergy were used to probe the membrane. Five distinct regions were found to contain dominant allergic IgE epitopes, these being L38T49, D95A102, E191V200, V243E248 and G251N260. The critical amino acids involved in IgE antibody binding were also determined. These epitopes were composed primarily of hydrophobic amino acids, followed by polar and charged residues and being comprised of beta-sheet and beta-turn structures. One epitope, D95A102, consisted of a single alpha-helix. These results provide useful information on the functional role of amino acid residues to evaluate the structure-function relationships and structural properties of allergic epitopes in ovalbumin. They also provide a strategic approach for engineering ovalbumin to reduce its allergenicity. (+info
Food sensitization in infants and young children with atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin disease. Children with AD tend to have a higher prevalence of food allergies. This study investigated the clinical significance of food sensitization in AD patients. A total of 266 AD patients participated in this study. The prevalence of food sensitization and clinically relevant sensitization were compared in the subjects according to their age and AD severity. Sera from all patients were analyzed for food-specific IgE levels using the Pharmacia CAP System FEIA. The serum specific IgE levels for egg, milk, peanut and soybean were measured. Patients were regarded as sensitized to the food if their food-specific IgE levels were above 0.35 kUA/L. Also the food-specific IgE levels, the so-called diagnostic decision point, which is recommended as the clinically relevant level, for clinical food allergy, as suggested by Sampson et al, was used as an alternative method. From the measurement of food-specific IgE antibodies of the four foods, egg was the most highly sensitized and the main causative allergenic food in children with AD. The positive rates of specific IgE to the four major food allergens, and the prevalences of clinically relevant food sensitization, were higher for all foods tested in the group less than 1 year of age, and were significantly higher in moderate to severe AD compared to mild AD in infants and young children. In summary, presence of food specific IgE is prevalent in infants and young children with AD, and clinically relevant food sensitization is important in Korean infants and children with moderate to severe AD. (+info
Enhanced responses of the anterior cingulate cortex neurones to colonic distension in viscerally hypersensitive rats.
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is critically involved in processing the affective component of pain sensation. Visceral hypersensitivity is a characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome. Electrophysiological activity of the ACC with regard to visceral sensitization has not been characterized. Single ACC neuronal activities in response to colorectal distension (CRD) were recorded in control, sham-treated rats and viscerally hypersensitive (EA) rats (induced by chicken egg albumin injection, i.p). The ACC neurones of controls failed to respond to 10 or 30 mmHg CRD; only 22% were activated by 50 mmHg CRD. Among the latter, 16.4% exhibited an excitatory response to CRD and were labelled 'CRD-excited' neurones. In contrast, CRD (10, 30 and 50 mmHg) markedly increased ACC neuronal responses of EA rats (10%, 28% and 47%, respectively). CRD produced greater pressure-dependent increases in ACC spike firing rates in EA rats compared with controls. Splanchnicectomy combined with pelvic nerve section abolished ACC responses to CRD in EA rats. Spontaneous activity in CRD-excited ACC neurones was significantly higher in EA rats than in controls. CRD-excited ACC neurones in control and EA rats (7 of 16 (42%) and 8 of 20 (40%), respectively) were activated by transcutaneous electrical and thermal stimuli. However, ACC neuronal activity evoked by noxious cutaneous stimuli did not change significantly in EA rats. This study identifies CRD-responsive neurones in the ACC and establishes for the first time that persistence of a heightened visceral afferent nociceptive input to the ACC induces ACC sensitization, characterized by increased spontaneous activity of CRD-excited neurones, decreased CRD pressure threshold, and increased response magnitude. Enhanced ACC nociceptive transmission in viscerally hypersensitive rats is restricted to visceral afferent input. (+info
Quantifying serum antibody in bird fanciers' hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
BACKGROUND: Detecting serum antibody against inhaled antigens is an important diagnostic adjunct for hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). We sought to validate a quantitative fluorimetric assay testing serum from bird fanciers. METHODS: Antibody activity was assessed in bird fanciers and control subjects using various avian antigens and serological methods, and the titer was compared with symptoms of HP. RESULTS: IgG antibody against pigeon serum antigens, quantified by fluorimetry, provided a good discriminator of disease. Levels below 10 mg/L were insignificant, and increasing titers were associated with disease. The assay was unaffected by total IgG, autoantibodies and antibody to dietary hen's egg antigens. Antigens from pigeon serum seem sufficient to recognize immune sensitivity to most common pet avian species. Decreasing antibody titers confirmed antigen avoidance. CONCLUSION: Increasing antibody titer reflected the likelihood of HP, and decreasing titers confirmed antigen avoidance. Quantifying antibody was rapid and the increased sensitivity will improve the rate of false-negative reporting and obviate the need for invasive diagnostic procedures. Automated fluorimetry provides a method for the international standardization of HP serology thereby improving quality control and improving its suitability as a diagnostic adjunct. (+info
New onset egg allergy in an adult.
We report newly presenting systemic and local allergic reactions to egg in a 55-year-old woman. The patient did not have a history of egg allergy in childhood or occupational exposure to egg proteins; nor did she report any disease that is known to be related to food allergy. A skin prick test with commercial extracts, prick-to-prick test, CAP radioallergosorbent assay, and a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test were used to prove egg allergy. Because egg allergy mainly affects children and symptoms frequently disappear with age, the late onset in this patient is rare. (+info
Recurrent angioedema due to lysozyme allergy.
A 54-year-old woman suffered an episode of dyspnea and edema affecting her eyelids, tongue, and lips a few minutes after intake of Lizipaina (bacitracin, papain, and lysozyme). She was treated with intravenous drugs and her symptoms improved within 2 hours. She had experienced 3 to 4 bouts of similar symptoms related to the ingestion of cured cheeses or raw egg. Specific serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E against lysozyme was present at a concentration of 0.45 kU/L, and no specific IgE was found against egg white and yolk, ovalbumin, or ovomucoid. Skin prick tests were positive with commercial extracts of egg white and lysozyme but doubtful with yolk, ovalbumin, and ovomucoid. Prick-to-prick tests with raw egg white and yolk gave positive results, but negative results were obtained with cooked egg white and yolk and 5 brands of cheese (3 of them containing lysozyme and the other 2 without lysozyme). Controlled oral administration of papain, bacitracin, and cheeses without lysozyme was well tolerated. We suggest that the presence of lysozyme in a pharmaceutical preparation, cured cheese, and raw egg was responsible for the symptoms suffered by our patient, probably through an IgE-mediated mechanism. (+info