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J Immunol. 1997 May 15;158(10):5002-6.

Anti-IL-4 monoclonal antibody prevents antibiotics-induced active fatal anaphylaxis.

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Department of Immunology, Institute for Medical Sciences, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Chonju, Republic of Korea.


We previously reported that anti-IL-4 mAb (11B11) failed to prevent protein-induced fatal murine anaphylaxis. To investigate the effect of anti-IL-4 on hapten-induced anaphylaxis, a model of murine anaphylaxis induced by antibiotics, penicillin V (Pen V) and cephalothin (CET), was developed, and the effect of anti-IL-4 on the anaphylaxis was observed. Pen V and CET induced 100 and 70 to 90% fatal reactions, respectively, when C57BL/6 mice were sensitized i.p. with 500 microg of antibiotic-OVA conjugate with 2 x 10(9) Bordetella pertussis and 1.0 mg of alum and challenged i.v. with 100 microg of antibiotic-BSA conjugate 14 days later. Serum taken from mice sensitized to Pen V passively sensitized normal mice to develop systemic anaphylaxis, and this ability of the serum was abrogated by heating at 56 degrees C for 2 h or depletion of IgE, but not IgG, Abs. Thus, the antibiotic-induced fatal reaction was an IgE-dependent anaphylactic reaction. Administration of anti-IL-4 at the beginning of sensitization completely prevented the fatal anaphylactic reactions to both Pen V and CET. This effect of anti-IL-4 was associated with its suppressive activity on antibiotic-specific serum IgE, but not IgG, levels. More importantly, anti-IL-4 therapy in previously sensitized mice was also effective in preventing the fatal reactions and rapidly reduced the established IgE levels. This study provides a new animal model of hapten-induced anaphylaxis and indicates that blocking of IL-4 activity may be beneficial in allergic diseases caused by a variety of haptens in which IgE Abs play a major role.

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