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Polyisotypic antipeanut-specific humoral responses in peanut-allergic individuals


Dr M. N.Kolopp-Sarda Laboratoire d'Immunologie, Faculté de Médecine, BP 184, 54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, FRANCE.



Peanut-containing food products may induce severe clinical reactions in sensitized subjects, and high levels of antipeanut IgE have been reported in the literature. Immunotherapy, proposed for the prevention of severe accidents, is often ill-tolerated and only partly efficient. This could be due to the spontaneous development of polyisotypic antipeanut antibodies.


To appreciate the presence and reactivity of other isotypes other than IgE of peanut-specific antibodies in serum samples from peanut-sensitized subjects.


Serum samples were obtained from 20 non-sensitized subjects and 23 sensitized patients divided in three groups according to their response to peanut oral challenge (no response or response to high or low doses, respectively). Peanut-specific IgG, IgG subclasses, IgA and IgM were assayed using an ELISA, and their reactivity against peanut proteins tested using Western Blot.


A large dispersion of antipeanut antibody levels was observed in the three groups of patients, high levels of IgG, IgG1, IgG4 and IgA usually correlating with highly positive radioallergosorbent test (RAST). Such high levels were observed at onset in four patients who underwent peanut immunotherapy who had side effects and poor efficiency. Western blotting demonstrated that the polyisotypic response observed was directed to several peanut antigens, including the major allergens, Ara h1 and Ara h2.


Peanut-sensitized patients who spontaneously develop specific IgE, display polyisotypic-specific antibody responses, whatever their response to oral challenge. This might explain the poor efficiency of peanut rush immunotherapy attempts.