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J Immunol. 1993 Apr 15;150(8 Pt 1):3643-50.

Serum-IgE-facilitated allergen presentation in atopic disease.

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Laboratory of Cell Biology and Histology, Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The occurrence of facilitated Ag presentation (FAP) was investigated in atopic disease using an in vitro model in which the ability of CD23-expressing EBV-B cells was tested to present Der p II, a major allergen of housedust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, to cells of autologous Der p II-specific CD4+ T lymphocyte clones. Purified Der p II protein was immune complexed with Ig by preincubation in sera from atopic patients containing Der p II-specific IgE. Incubation of EBV-B cells with these complexes before using the cells as APC results in proliferation of the Der p II-specific T cells at a 1000-fold lower Der p II concentration than required for T cell activation by presentation of uncomplexed Der p II. FAP is not evident using sera from allergic and nonallergic control donors not containing Der p II-specific IgE. FAP is mediated by IgE and not by IgG, because it can be blocked completely by preincubating the serum from atopics with polyclonal anti-IgE and not with polyclonal anti-IgG. After pulsing EBV-B with precomplexed Der p II at 4 degrees C, FAP is as strong as after incubation at 37 degrees C, suggesting that FAP is the result of facilitated trapping of IgE-complexed allergen. CD23 was involved in facilitated trapping of the complexes, because FAP is blocked by preincubation of EBV-B with anti-CD23. In contrast to FAP of Der p II, which was mediated by all Der p II-specific sera tested, only one of four sera containing cat allergen-specific IgE was appropriate to mediate FAP to cat allergen-specific T cell clones. Inasmuch as FAP enables functional presentation of allergen in vivo at doses as low as several nanograms, FAP may contribute to the continuing of chronic allergic reactions in response to minute doses of aeroallergens, especially housedust mite allergens, in the environment.

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