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

Individual hymenoptera venom compounds induce upregulation of the basophil activation marker ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 3 (CD203c) in sensitized patients.

BACKGROUND: Bee and wasp venom extracts contain potent allergens capable of inducing severe clinical reactions. To analyze immediate-type hypersensitivity to defined hymenoptera venom components, a recently developed in vitro test was applied that is based on the upregulation of CD203c expression on basophils. METHODS: CD203c expression on blood basophils of 9 healthy donors and 39 patients allergic to bee and/or wasp venom was analyzed by flow cytometry before and after activation with the purified bee venom allergens phospholipase A2 (Api m 1), hyaluronidase (Api m 2) and melittin (Api m 4), or the purified wasp venom allergens phospholipase A1 (Ves v 1), hyaluronidase (Ves v 2) and the recombinant antigen 5 (Ves v 5). Venom-induced CD203c upregulation on basophils was compared with skin tests and assessment of specific IgE. Basophils of nonresponders were preincubated with 10 ng/ml interleukin-3 (IL-3) prior to allergen stimulation. RESULTS: CD203c upregulation on basophils was induced by defined hymenoptera venom components in 35/39 patients with a diagnosed allergy to wasp and/or bee venom. Twenty-seven of the 34 tested patients with wasp allergy showed CD203c upregulation in response to Ves v 5, 26 of these patients also reacted with Ves v 2 and 17 with Ves v 1. Nine of 13 patients with bee allergy reacted with Api m 1, 13 individuals with Api m 2 and none of these patients with the minor allergen Api m 4. A diagnosed wasp allergy could also be confirmed in the prestimulated basophils (IL-3) of 2 nonresponder individuals who failed to upregulate CD203c in response to IgE receptor cross- linking prior to culture with IL-3. CONCLUSIONS: Flow-cytometric determination of CD203c upregulation on basophils activated by molecularly defined allergens is a powerful method to identify the precise allergen reactivity in sensitized individuals.[1]


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