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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Sep;126(3):638-45.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.04.039. Epub 2010 Jun 26.

Phl p 5 resorption in human oral mucosa leads to dose-dependent and time-dependent allergen binding by oral mucosal Langerhans cells, attenuates their maturation, and enhances their migratory and TGF-beta1 and IL-10-producing properties.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.



Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is safe and effective as treatment of allergic rhinitis and mild asthma. Oral mucosal Langerhans cells (oLCs) play a central role. However, little is known about allergen binding by oLCs during mucosal allergen resorption and its impact on oLC functions.


Binding of Phl p 5 to oLCs was studied in a standardized ex vivo model to investigate mechanisms important for SLIT.


Human oral mucosal biopsies were incubated with the grass pollen allergen Phl p 5. Migration, binding of Phl p 5, phenotype and cytokine production, and T-cell priming of Phl p 5-binding oLCs were analyzed.


Significant uptake required more than 5 minutes, and dose-dependent binding of Phl p 5 to oLCs was saturated at 100 microg/mL Phl p 5. Furthermore, Phl p 5 significantly increased the migratory capacity of oLCs but attenuated their maturation and strongly promoted the release of TGF-beta1 and IL-10 by oLCs themselves as well as by cocultured T cells.


Oral mucosal Langerhans cells bind Phlp5 in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner, leading to an increased production of tolerogenic cytokines and an enhanced migratory capacity but decelerated maturation of oLCs.

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