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Parasite Immunol. 2005 Dec;27(12):431-8.

Nonatopic allergen-independent mast cell activation in parasitized eosinophilic athymic rats.

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1
The Boots Science Institute, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, UK.

Abstract

It is possible to induce eosinophilia in congenitally athymic rats by infection with the parasite Ascaris suum. Athymic bronchial eosinophilia is associated with increased expression of IL-5 and eotaxin mRNA, and with the presence of residual T cells and mast cells. Anamnestic mastocytosis is particularly pronounced and in this study we examine the relationship between mast cell degranulation and IgE production in athymic rats following infection. Incubation of peritoneal mast cells from athymic rats with anti-IgE induced dose-dependent degranulation, as measured by histamine release. However, the failure of mast cells from infected athymic rats to degranulate following incubation with all but one of the parasite antigens selected confirms the absence of a specific IgE response. In contrast, all agonists induced degranulation in euthymic rats. The only parasite-derived factor to induce histamine release in all mast cells was Ascaris body fluid, which contains an element capable of inducing IgE-independent degranulation. Furthermore, increased levels of rat mast cell protease II in athymic bronchoalveolar lavage fluid suggest degranulation of mast cells by IgE and allergen independent means in vivo. We believe that the development of eosinophilic lung inflammation in the absence of specific IgE makes this a prototype for investigating the immunological mechanisms underlying nonatopic asthma.

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