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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1998 Mar;101(3):397-403.

Antibody responses to bee melittin (Api m 4) and hornet antigen 5 (Dol m 5) in mice treated with the dominant T-cell epitope peptides.

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  • 1Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.



Mice treated with the dominant T-cell epitope peptides of allergens were reported to have reduced peptide or allergen-specific T-cell responses on subsequent immunization, but the extent of reduction of allergen-specific antibodies is not clear.


This study was done to compare the extent of reduction of T-cell and antibody responses in peptide-treated mice. Two allergens were tested. Bee melittin (Api m 4), an allergen of 26 amino acid residues, has a single dominant T- or B-cell epitope. Hornet antigen 5 (Dol m 5), an allergen of 204 amino acid residues, has multiple dominant T- or B-cell epitopes.


Mice were treated with T-cell peptides of Api m 4 or Dol m 5 and then immunized biweekly with their respective allergen with alum adjuvant. T-cell peptides tested were residues 7-19 of Api m 4 and residues 41-60, 141-160, and 176-195 of Dol m 5. T-cell responses at week 9 or 11 were assayed by proliferation of spleen cell cultures. Antibody responses of different isotypes were measured biweekly by ELISA.


Partial reduction of 30% to 50% of T-cell responses to peptide or allergen was observed in bee and hornet peptide-treated mice. About 65% reduction of Api m 4-specific antibody response was observed early in the immune response but gradually subsided to about 40% late in the response. Partial reduction of about 40% of Dol m 5-specific antibody response was only observed early in the immune response.


Peptide treatment is partially effective in the reduction of T-cell responses of univalent or multivalent allergens. It is also partially effective in the reduction of antibody response of a univalent allergen, but it is poorly effective for a multivalent allergen.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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