Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 2012 Feb 1;188(3):1559-67. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102445. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Humoral and cellular cross-reactivity between Amb a 1, the major ragweed pollen allergen, and its mugwort homolog Art v 6.

Author information

Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Ragweed and mugwort are closely related weeds that represent the major cause of pollen allergy in late summer. Concomitant sensitization and clinical cross-reactivity frequently occur in subjects who are coexposed to both pollen species, and have implications for diagnosis and specific immunotherapy. Molecules involved in this cross-reactivity might be Amb a 1, the major ragweed pollen allergen, and Art v 6, a highly homologous allergen from mugwort. Therefore, we investigated the IgE and T cell response to Art v 6 of 60 weed pollen-allergic patients and assessed its immunological cross-reactivity with Amb a 1. Results of ELISA inhibition experiments suggested that both allergens are largely cross-reactive, but Amb a 1 possesses more IgE epitopes than Art v 6. In patients with IgE to both allergens, Amb a 1-induced T cell lines and clones responded weakly to Art v 6. Moreover, Art v 6-induced T cell lines responded stronger to Amb a 1. T cell epitope mapping of Art v 6 revealed that it contains only a few cross-reactive epitopes, which is opposed to the multiple T cell-activating regions present in Amb a 1. In summary, Amb a 1 can elicit more diverse allergen-specific IgE and T cell responses than Art v 6 and dominates the cross-reactivity with its homolog. Nevertheless, Art v 6 can act as a primary sensitizing allergen in areas with high mugwort pollen exposure, and consequently may facilitate sensitization to Amb a 1 by epitope cross-recognition of T and B cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center