Sublingual allergen administration. I. Selective suppression of IgE production in rats by high allergen doses

Authors

  • P. G. HOLT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Subiaco, Western Australia
      Dr P. G. Holt, Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Thomas Street, Subiaco, 6000H, Western Australia.
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  • JULIA VINES,

    1. Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Subiaco, Western Australia
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  • DESLEY BRITTEN

    1. Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Subiaco, Western Australia
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Dr P. G. Holt, Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Thomas Street, Subiaco, 6000H, Western Australia.

Summary

Sublingual administration of a protein allergen to immunologically naïve rats suppressed subsequent allergen-specific IgE responses. Susceptibility to this form of immunotherapy was genetically determined, with some inbred rat strains displaying immunological tolerance in the IgE antibody class alone, whilst others developed concomitant suppression of IgG. Parallel gastric intubation experiments established that the development of tolerance by sublingual allergen administration proceeded independently of events occurring in the gut resulting from swallowing the allergen. These results are consistent with clinical reports which suggest that the oral mucosa is a potentially useful site for therapeutic modulation of allergic reactivity, and indicate that appropriate animal models can be developed to probe this important question. However, further research is required to determine the relevance of these findings to current sublingual desensitization practices.

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