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Equine Vet J. 2002 Nov;34(7):657-65.

Expression of a 4-(hydroxy-3-nitro-phenyl) acetyl (NP) specific equi-murine IgE antibody that mediates histamine release in vitro and a type I skin reaction in vivo.

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Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.


Due to characteristic clinical signs, immunoglobulins of isotype E (IgE) are believed to be involved in several allergic diseases of the horse. To date, closer investigations have been hampered by the fact that neither purified equine IgE nor anti-equine IgE monoclonal antibodies were available for IgE isotype determination. As an approach to solve this problem, we constructed a stable cell line (EqE6) that expresses recombinant equi-murine IgE specific for 4-(hydroxy-3-nitro-phenyl) acetyl (NP). Biochemical analysis of the purified protein revealed a highly glycosilated IgE monomer of approximately 230,000 Da. The biological ability of the NP-IgE to mediate histamine release after crosslinking with antigen was demonstrated in vitro using equine blood leucocytes. In vivo, the intradermal application of NP-IgE followed by antigen crosslinking induced a type I hypersensitivity skin reaction in horses. Both results indicate that the recombinant NP-IgE contains an intact and functional Fc(epsilon) RI binding site and mediates effector functions in equine basophils and cutaneous mast cells. This equi-murine IgE can be used for the production of IgE-specific polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. In addition, the NP specificity allows the antigen-specific activation of equine Fc(epsilon)-receptor-expressing cells, such as mast cells and basophils. This property could be used to investigate IgE-mediated mechanisms for a better understanding of equine type I allergic diseases.

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