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Summary

Common antigenicity among two purified Japanese cedar pollen allergens (Cry j 1 and Cry j 2) and one Japanese cypress pollen allergen (Cha o 1) was explored at the T-cell and B-cell level in mice of different H-2 haplotypes. Cry j 2 did not show any common antigenicity with Cry j 1 or Cha o 1. B10.S (H-2S) mice immunized with Cry j 1 or Cha o 1 generated T cells and antibodies reactive to both antigens, indicating the common antigenicity of these antigens. C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice were non-responders to Cry j 1. BALB/c (H-2d) mice immunized with Cry j 1 or Cha o 1 and C57BL/6 mice immunized with Cha o 1 generated T cells that were only reactive with the respective immunogen, but produced antibody reactive to both Cry j 1 and Cha o 1, indicating that Cry j 1 and Cha o 1 share their B-cell epitope but not their T-cell epitope. This finding may provide a clue for the clarification of the T-cell and B-cell epitopes of Cry j 1 and Cha o 1, even though the data are influenced by H-2 complex restriction in mice. Considering that H-2 complex restriction affects cross responsiveness to Cry j 1 and Cha o 1 at the T- and B-cell level in mice, we assessed the possible situation in humans exposed sequentially to Japanese cedar pollen and Japanese cypress pollen.