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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Specific immune response to Phleum pratense plant profilin in atopic patients and control subjects.

BACKGROUND: Phleum pratense (Phl p) pollen is a known cause of allergic disease worldwide. Profilins have been identified as functional plant pan-allergens. The role of Phl p profilin in the specific immune response in sensitized Phl p patients is unknown. METHODS: Skin prick test and specific serum IgE levels were performed in 26 patients allergic to Phl p and in 18 nonallergic control donors. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from both groups and stimulated with crude extract or highly purified Phl p profilin, and the production of type I and type II cytokines was determined in patients and controls stimulated with specific and polyclonal stimulus. T-cell lines specific to Phl p profilin were established from PBMCs and cross-reactivity with another highly purified profilin from Parietaria judaica (Pj) was evaluated. RESULTS: Patients allergic to Phl p profilin showed increased T-cell-proliferative responses to this profilin compared with control subjects. The production of IL-4 and IFN-gamma in response to the specific stimulus was undetectable. However, the production of IL-4 and IFN-gamma in response to a polyclonal stimulus ( PHA) was measurable and different for atopic patients and control subjects: IL-4 was higher (p < 0.001) in allergic patients and IFN-gamma lower (although not significant) in controls. Neither the T-cell responses nor the production of IL-4 in response to a polyclonal stimulus ( PHA) correlated with the individual degree of cutaneous response to Phl p profilin or to the levels of specific Phl p IgE. The T-cell lines tested did not show any cross-reactivity with Pj profilin. CONCLUSIONS: Phl p profilin is in part responsible for the T-cell mediated immunological response in patients allergic to Phl p. The response is very specific since Phl p profilin specific T-cell lines did not show cross-reactivity with a highly homologous profilin from Parietaria judaica (Pj). The lack of correlation between the proliferative T-cell response and polyclonal IL-4 production with allergen-specific serum IgE and SPT probably indicates that some of the responding T-cells may be involved in immune reactions other than the support of IgE production.[1]


  1. Specific immune response to Phleum pratense plant profilin in atopic patients and control subjects. Benítez, D., García-Ortega, P., Picado, C., Milà, J., Vives, J., Martínez, J., Vilella, R. Allergologia et immunopathologia. (2001) [Pubmed]
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