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J Korean Med Sci. 1998 Apr;13(2):147-52.

Heterogeneity of IgE response to TDI-HSA conjugates by ELISA in toluene diisocyanate (TDI) -induced occupational asthma (OA) patients.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


Toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a low molecular weight reactive chemical, is known to be a main cause of occupational asthma (OA) in Korea. Although it is thought that inhaled TDI may act as a hapten, the precise mechanisms of TDI-induced OA are unknown. In this study, TDI-human serum albumin (HSA) conjugates (5, 10, 20 and 30 min) were prepared in the range of 1.5 to 5.0 TDI mole/HSA mole. Specific binding of serum IgE to TDI-HSA (30 min) was observed using IgE ELISA as well as ELISA inhibition assay. Around 40% of TDI-induced OA patients were positive for serum specific IgE by ELISA. Degrees of serum IgE binding were different depending on which TDI-HSA conjugate was used as an antigen. Moreover, binding patterns were different depending on the individuals. Interestingly, higher binding of IgE to TDI-HSA (5 min) than to TDI-HSA (30 min) which was more highly substituted was observed in some patients. Probably new antigenic epitopes on carrier proteins were targets of the specific IgE. The results of this study indicated that IgE responses to TDI-HSA conjugates were heterogeneous in TDI-induced OA patients and self-proteins modified by reactive chemicals can become a major target antigen of IgE in certain cases.

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