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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Immunohistochemical investigation of the cellular infiltrates at the sites of allergoid-induced late-phase cutaneous reactions associated with pollen allergen-specific immunotherapy

Authors

  • B. Eberlein-König,

    1. Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Allergologie am Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Klinische Kooperationsgruppe Umweltdermatologie und Allergologie GSF/TUM, Neuherberg–München, Munich, Germany
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  • C. Jung,

    1. Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Allergologie am Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Klinische Kooperationsgruppe Umweltdermatologie und Allergologie GSF/TUM, Neuherberg–München, Munich, Germany
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  • J. Rakoski,

    1. Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Allergologie am Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Klinische Kooperationsgruppe Umweltdermatologie und Allergologie GSF/TUM, Neuherberg–München, Munich, Germany
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  • J. Ring

    1. Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Allergologie am Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Klinische Kooperationsgruppe Umweltdermatologie und Allergologie GSF/TUM, Neuherberg–München, Munich, Germany
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B. Eberlein-König Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Allergologie am Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Biedersteiner Straße 29, D-80802 München, Germany.

Abstract

Background

Reduction in the size of the allergen-induced late-phase reaction (LPR) is seen as a consequence of successful allergen specific immunotherapy.

Objective

It was the aim of this study to characterize the cellular infiltrate at the sites of cutaneous LPR that may occur following injection of a depot pollen allergoid (Allergovit®) during immunotherapy and thereby determine the immunological nature of the response.

Methods

Punch biopsies were taken 24 h after subcutaneous injection of a depot pollen allergoid from eight patients that showed LPR and a further five patients that did not. Additional biopsies taken 24 h after injection of allergoid-free depot in the same patients served as controls. Immunoenzymatic labelling of the cryostat sections with different antibodies was performed with the APAAP technique. Results were expressed as cells/field (400 × magnification).

Results

Similar dermal cellular infiltrations were seen following depot allergoid injections in patients both with and without LPR. Patients with LPR showed statistically significant increases in total cells, CD4+ cells, CD11c+ cells, CD45RO+ cells, CD45RB+ cells and activated eosinophils at the reactions sites as compared with control sites. In patients without LPR CD11c+ cells, HLA-DR+ cells and CD45RA+ T cells increased significantly. CD8+, CD1a+, NP57+, CD23+ and CD25+ cells did not differ significantly in either group.

Conclusion

These results indicate that activation of T cells, monocytes/macrophages and eosinophils at the sites of LPR following injection of depot allergoid are comparable with those following injection of allergen. Even in the absence of a cutaneous LPR, subsets of T cells and monocytes/macrophages increased. These cell activations may reflect events associated with the mechanisms of allergoid-based specific immunotherapy, and suggest that at least part of the late-phase reaction may be independent of IgE.

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