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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2001 Dec;126(4):335-42.

Hymenoptera-venom-induced upregulation of the basophil activation marker ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 3 in sensitized individuals.

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  • 1University of Tübingen, Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Hematology and Immunology, Tübingen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2002 Apr;127(4):293.



Bee and wasp venoms are potent allergens capable of inducing severe clinical reactions. To detect immediate-type hypersensitivity to these allergens, a rapid in vitro test was developed that relies on the upregulation of ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 3 (E-NPP3) on activated basophils.


Blood basophils of 13 healthy donors and 22 patients allergic to bee or wasp venom were analyzed for E-NPP3 (CD203c) expression using monoclonal antibody 97A6. Basophils were analyzed by flow cytometry after activation with anti-IgE antibody or allergen. Venom-induced E-NPP3 upregulation on basophils was compared with diagnostic parameters, including skin tests and assessment of specific IgE. In selected samples, the increase in E-NPP3 expression on activated basophils was compared with histamine release and CD63 upregulation.


In 20/22 patients sensitized to wasp or bee venom, E-NPP3 expression on basophils was upregulated in response to activation by allergen or anti-IgE. The maximum increase in E-NPP3 expression (above ten times of baseline) was achieved after 15 min of stimulation with 1 microg/ml of allergen or anti-IgE antibody. Sensitized individuals who failed to upregulate E-NPP3 in response to IgE receptor cross-linking also failed to induce histamine release and CD63 upregulation.


Flow cytometric determination of hymenoptera-venom-induced upregulation of E-NPP3 is a novel in vitro test to identify sensitized individuals.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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