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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Apr;105(4):803-13.

Dissociation of allergen-specific IgE and IgA responses in sera and tears of pollen-allergic patients: a study performed with purified recombinant pollen allergens.

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1
Department of Pathophysiology, Clinical Institute for Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Trees and grass pollen allergens represent potent elicitors of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma. Little is known regarding the presence of allergen-specific IgA antibodies in sera and tears and their association with IgE responses in patients with allergic conjunctivitis.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to compare the specificities of IgE and IgA antibodies in sera and tears of pollen-allergic patients with conjunctivitis by using purified recombinant pollen allergens.

METHODS:

Sera and tears collected from 23 pollen-allergic and from 23 nonatopic individuals were analyzed for IgE and IgA reactivity to nitrocellulose-blotted birch and timothy grass pollen extracts. In addition, we determined the specificities of IgE, IgG(1-4), and IgA antibodies with use of a panel of purified recombinant pollen allergens (timothy grass: rPhl p 1, rPhl p 2, rPhl p 5; birch: rBet v 1, rBet v 2) in serum and tear samples by immunoblotting and ELISA. Statistical analyses of data were performed by t test and Mann Whitney U test.

RESULTS:

Serum and tears of many of the pollen-allergic individuals with conjunctivitis exhibited specificity for the very same pollen allergens. No allergen-specific IgE antibodies were detected in tears of nonatopic individuals. IgA antibodies in sera and tears of patients with allergic conjunctivitis were mainly directed against nonallergenic moieties and showed specificities that were significantly different from those of IgE antibodies.

CONCLUSION:

The dissociation of IgE and IgA responses and the lack of allergen-specific IgA antibodies in mucosal secretions (eg, tears) may contribute to allergic manifestations in target organs of atopy. Induction of allergen-specific IgA antibodies may hence be considered as a promising strategy for the treatment of mucosal forms of atopy.

PMID:
10756233
DOI:
10.1067/mai.2000.104782
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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