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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1998 Apr;115(4):303-11.

Experimental monkey model sensitized with mite antigen.

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Bioscience Research and Development Laboratory, Asahi Breweries Ltd., Ibaraki, Japan.



Monkeys are considered to have an immune system very similar to that of humans, as compared with mice, rats, and guinea pigs. Although primate allergic models to several pollen allergens have been developed, no model of house dust mite allergy has been reported. In this study, we attempted to induce type I allergy to mite allergens in rhesus monkeys.


Six rhesus monkeys were immunized subcutaneously with crude mite extract adsorbed on aluminum hydroxide for 4 months. Then 5 monkeys positive for IgE production to mite extract were further immunized subcutaneously and conjunctivally with recombinant Der f 2 (rDer f 2). The status of sensitization to mite extract and rDer f 2 in monkeys was examined before and after the immunization. Plasma antigen-specific IgE and IgG levels, cutaneous reaction, and histamine release from peripheral blood leukocytes were measured. After conjunctival immunization, immediate conjunctivitis and leukocyte influx into conjunctiva after rDer f 2 challenge were examined.


After immunization with crude mite extract, 5 of 6 sensitized monkeys showed IgE response to the mite, and 4 out of 5 rDer f 2-sensitized monkeys exhibited IgE production to rDer f 2. Three monkeys sensitized with rDer f 2 showed immediate conjunctivitis and conjunctival eosinophilia after applying rDer f 2 to their eyes. Sensitized animals also showed IgG response to mite antigens.


Four rhesus monkeys were positive for IgE production and allergic reactions to both mite extract and rDer f 2. These monkeys could represent a useful model for studying the development and regulation of house dust mite allergy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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