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The proteolytic activity of the major dust mite allergen Der p 1 enhances the IgE antibody response to a bystander antigen

Authors

  • L. Gough,

    1. Division of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
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  • H. F. Sewell,

    1. Division of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
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  • F. Shakib

    1. Division of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
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Dr F. Shakib, Division of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK. E-mail: farouk.shakib@nottingham. ac.uk

Abstract

Background We have recently demonstrated that immunization of mice with proteolytically active Der p 1, the major dust mite allergen, results in a significant enhancement in total and Der p 1-specific IgE synthesis compared to mice immunized with Der p 1 that has been irreversibly blocked with the cysteine protease inhibitors E-64 and iodoacetamide. Thus, the demonstration that the proteolytic activity of Der p 1 enhances total IgE production, apart from increasing Der p 1-specific IgE, suggests that this allergen may have an IgE-specific adjuvant effect.

Objective To determine if the proteolytic activity of Der p 1 has an IgE-specific adjuvant effect.

Methods We have examined this concept in experiments whereby ovalbumin, used as a bystander antigen, was injected alone or coinjected with either proteolytically active or inactive Der p 1 into groups of mice and IgE and IgG antibody responses were measured.

Results Here we demonstrate for the first time that the proteolytic activity of Der p 1, when given at 10-fold higher concentration, enhances the IgE antibody response to ovalbumin.

Conclusions These findings show that the proteolytic activity of Der p 1 leads to the augmentation of IgE antibody responses to itself and to other allergens present in the microenvironment.

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