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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999 Feb;103(2 Pt 1):326-32.

Decreased release of histamine and sulfidoleukotrienes by human peripheral blood leukocytes after wasp venom immunotherapy is partially due to induction of IL-10 and IFN-gamma production of T cells.

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  • 1Clinical Research Group, Department of Dermatology, University of Mainz, Germany.



Recent studies provide evidence that venom immunotherapy (VIT) alters the pattern of cytokine production by inducing an allergen-specific T-cell shift in cytokine expression from TH2 (IL-4, IL-5) to TH1 (IFN-gamma) cytokines and also inducing the production of IL-10.


This study was carried out to analyze whether these changes in cytokine production of T cells already observed 1 week after the initiation of VIT in subjects with wasp venom allergy also influence the reactivity of effector cells, such as mast cells and basophils.


All subjects included in this study had a history of severe systemic allergic reactions to wasp stings and positive skin test responses with venom and venom-specific IgE in the sera. Peripheral blood leukocytes were isolated before and after the initiation of VIT (rush therapy reaching a maintenance dose of 100 microg venom injected subcutaneously within 1 week) and preincubated with or without addition of IL-10, IFN-gamma, IL-10 + IFN-gamma, anti-IL-10, or anti-IFN-gamma. After stimulation with wasp venom, histamine and sulfidoleukotriene release were assessed by ELISA and compared with spontaneous release and total histamine content.


After the induction of VIT, venom-induced absolute and relative histamine and sulfidoleukotriene release were reduced. This was at least partially due to the induction of IFN-gamma and IL-10 production, because (1) neutralization of IL-10 and IFN-gamma by mAbs partially restored the release after the initiation of VIT and (2) the addition of exogenous IFN-gamma and IL-10 caused a statistically significant diminution of the venom-induced histamine and sulfidoleukotriene release before VIT. Depletion of CD2(+) T cells also restored the releasability after VIT.


These data indicate that T cells (producing IL-10 and IFN-gamma after VIT) play a key role for the inhibition of histamine and sulfidoleukotriene release of effector cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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