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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Jun;107(6):1009-18.

Expression of the high-affinity IgE receptor on peripheral blood dendritic cells: differential binding of IgE in atopic asthma.

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  • 1Allergy and Inflammation Sciences Division, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.



Dendritic cells can express the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcepsilonRI), which, in the presence of specific IgE, facilitates the uptake of allergen, leading to increased activation of allergen-specific T cells. FcepsilonRI expression by dendritic cells is higher in the airways of atopic asthmatic subjects than in those of healthy, nonatopic control subjects.


The aims of this study were to determine whether a similar difference in FcepsilonRI expression occurs between dendritic cells in the peripheral blood of atopic asthmatic subjects and healthy individuals and also whether an altered ability of FcepsilonRI(+) peripheral blood dendritic cells to bind IgE accompanies the atopic asthmatic state.


Flow cytometry was used to analyze the surface expression of FcepsilonRI and exogenously bound IgE on dendritic cells identified as lineage negative (CD3, CD14, CD16, CD19, and CD56) and HLA-DR bright.


The total expression of FcepsilonRI on the surface of dendritic cells from healthy and asthmatic subjects was not significantly different. However, in vivo, dendritic cells from atopic asthmatic subjects had higher levels of receptor occupancy by IgE and bound exogenous IgE in vitro more efficiently than dendritic cells from healthy subjects.


The similar levels of expression of FcepsilonRI on peripheral blood dendritic cells from healthy and asthmatic subjects suggest that the local environment in the airway is responsible for the upregulation of surface FcepsilonRI on airway dendritic cells in asthma. The results also suggest that the functional ability of FcepsilonRI to bind IgE is differentially controlled in the atopic state.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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