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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2009;149 Suppl 1:21-4. doi: 10.1159/000210649. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Development of transgenic rice expressing mite antigen for a new concept of immunotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Allergy and Immunology, The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 156-8506, Japan.



To elucidate the usefulness of antigen-specific immunotherapy based on oral vaccination with an edible part of the plant, we examined the effect of transgenic (Tg) rice seeds expressing an immunodominant fragment of the group 1 antigen of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1) on a murine model of asthma.


Mice were orally vaccinated with the Tg or non-Tg rice seeds for 2 weeks, then they were immunized with recombinant Der p 1 (rDer p 1) and alum intraperitoneally. Antigen-induced immune responses, such as proliferation and cytokine production of CD4+ T cells, antigen-specific serum IgE and IgG, and infiltration of inflammatory cells into the airways were investigated in those mice.


The proliferation and Th2 cytokine production of CD4+ T cells in vitro, antigen-specific IgE and IgG synthesis as well as accumulation of eosinophils and lymphocytes into the airways in vivo were significantly inhibited by administration of the Tg rice.


These results suggest that the edible vaccines using Tg rice seeds are useful for the treatment of allergic disorders including bronchial asthma.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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