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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1990 May;85(5):896-905.

Inflammatory mediator release on conjunctival provocation of allergic subjects with allergen.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Immunology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224.


To evaluate the role of inflammatory mediators in the pathogenesis of the ocular allergic response, 23 subjects with positive histories of allergies to either cat dander or ragweed pollen and positive skin tests to the appropriate allergen extract were recruited and were subjected to conjunctival provocation. The tear duct of the left eye of each subject was blocked with a collagen plug while the right eye was left unplugged. In all cases, the eye was initially provoked with saline and subsequently with the appropriate allergen extract. Nonallergic subjects, or allergic subjects provoked with nonrelevant allergen, were used as control subjects. After each provocation, symptoms were recorded, and tears were collected with preweighed strips of filter paper (Schirmer strip). Each strip was placed into a tared tube containing fluid appropriate for the optimal preservation of the mediator to be measured. It was therefore possible to calculate the weight of tears collected and to express mediator levels per milliliter of tears. All allergic subjects demonstrated a positive symptomatic response to allergen challenge, whereas the control subjects remained asymptomatic. Blockage of the tear duct did not significantly alter the response. For allergic subjects, the levels of histamine, kinins, prostaglandin D2, albumin, and TAME-esterase activity were all significantly (p less than 0.005 in each case) greater after allergen challenge than after saline challenge. Furthermore, levels of each of these mediators after allergen challenge (expressed as increases above levels after saline provocation) were significantly greater for allergic subjects than for control subjects (p less than 0.005 in each case). Thus, the clinical response to conjunctival provocation with allergen is associated with increases in the levels of inflammatory mediators in tears.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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