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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;131(1):128-34.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.10.048. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Peanut oral immunotherapy modifies IgE and IgG4 responses to major peanut allergens.

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Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27599, USA.



Patients with peanut allergy have highly stable pathologic antibody repertoires to the immunodominant B-cell epitopes of the major peanut allergens Ara h 1 to 3.


We used a peptide microarray technique to analyze the effect of treatment with peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) on such repertoires.


Measurements of total peanut-specific IgE (psIgE) and peanut-specific IgG(4) (psIgG(4)) were made with CAP-FEIA. We analyzed sera from 22 patients with OIT and 6 control subjects and measured serum specific IgE and IgG(4) binding to epitopes of Ara h 1 to 3 using a high-throughput peptide microarray technique. Antibody affinity was measured by using a competitive peptide microarray, as previously described.


At baseline, psIgE and psIgG(4) diversity was similar between patients and control subjects, and there was broad variation in epitope recognition. After a median of 41 months of OIT, polyclonal psIgG(4) levels increased from a median of 0.3 μg/mL (interquartile range [25% to 75%], 0.1-0.43 μg/mL) at baseline to 10.5 μg/mL (interquartile range [25% to 75%], 3.95-45.48 μg/mL; P < .0001) and included de novo specificities. psIgE levels were reduced from a median baseline of 85.45 kU(A)/L (23.05-101.0 kU(A)/L) to 7.75 kU(A)/L (2.58-30.55 kU(A)/L, P < .0001). Affinity was unaffected. Although the psIgE repertoire contracted in most OIT-treated patients, several subjects generated new IgE specificities, even as the total psIgE level decreased. Global epitope-specific shifts from IgE to IgG(4) binding occurred, including at an informative epitope of Ara h 2.


OIT differentially alters Ara h 1 to 3 binding patterns. These changes are variable between patients, are not observed in control subjects, and include a progressive polyclonal increase in IgG(4) levels, with concurrent reduction in IgE amount and diversity.

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