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Mol Immunol. 1993 Oct;30(15):1323-9.

T cell clones specific for Bet v I, the major birch pollen allergen, crossreact with the major allergens of hazel, Cor a I, and alder, Aln g I.

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  • 1Institute of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Vienna, Austria.


Tree pollens are responsible for type I allergies during the flowering season in spring. Pollens from birch, hazel and alder constitute the most important allergen sources in this respect in the northern hemisphere. Human IgE antibodies, specific for the major allergens of these pollens, are known to crossreact, and in general every tree pollen allergic patient is sensitized to these three pollen allergens. In this study we investigated eight T-helper cell clones (CD3+, CD4+, TCR alpha/beta) with specificity for Bet v I, the major birch pollen allergen, as proved by reactivity with purified natural as well as with recombinant allergen. The T cell clones were used to investigate common T cell epitopes of the Bet v I molecule with Cor a I, the major allergen of hazel pollen and Aln g I, the major allergen of alder pollen. All eight T cell clones reacted with all three proteins with different intensity. Moreover, three T cell clones, which were known to react with immunodominant T cell epitopes on the Bet v I molecule, were tested for reactivity with dodecapeptides synthesized according to the corresponding homologous regions of the Cor a I and Aln g I sequence. All the peptides induced strong T cell proliferation, indicating the existence of multiple cross-reacting epitopes. These findings will have an impact on the production of vaccines for immunotherapy of tree pollen allergies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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