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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007;143(2):119-26. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Role of human leucocyte antigen DQ in the presentation of T cell epitopes in the major cow's milk allergen alphas1-casein.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology/Allergology, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about the association between human leucocyte antigen (HLA) and cow's milk allergy (CMA). The aim of the present study was to determine the HLA restriction of T cell clones (TCCs) specific to alphas1-casein, the most abundant milk protein, and to study possible HLA class II allele associations with CMA.

METHODS:

alphas1-Casein-specific TCCs were derived from 6 children with CMA, 9 atopic children without CMA and 5 non-atopic children. T cell epitope specificity was defined by stimulation with overlapping peptides, spanning the alphas1-casein molecule. HLA restriction was determined in proliferation assays using antibodies blocking either HLA-DP, HLA-DQ or HLA-DR. HLA genotyping was performed in 32 subjects with CMA, 23 atopic and 22 non-atopic individuals.

RESULTS:

Ten TCCs were restricted to HLA-DQ, 6 TCCs to HLA-DR and 4 TCCs to HLA-DP. The sequence in alphas1-casein that was most immunogenic to T cells from children with CMA contained T cell epitopes restricted to DQB1*0201, DPB1*0401 and DRB1*1501. The DQB1*0501 allele frequency was lower in children with CMA than in non-atopic children, but this difference could not be confirmed in an additional group of subjects with and without CMA.

CONCLUSIONS:

HLA-DQ plays a substantial role in the presentation of T cell epitopes in alphas1-casein. However, HLA class II allele frequencies do not show major differences between cow's milk allergic, atopic and non-atopic subjects. T cell epitopes in the most immunogenic region are presented by various abundantly present HLA genotypes. Therefore, this sequence may be a suitable target for peptide immunotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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