The role of IL-4 on IgE synthesis has been well established. IL-4 has been shown to promote IgE production by B cells from atopic and non-atopic donors. In this study, the effects of natural exposure to pollens on IL-4-indueed IgE synthesis by peripheral blood mononuclear cells of atopic and non-atopic donors were examined. The results confirm production of IgE in an IL-4 dose-dependent manner by PBMC cultures of these two groups. When cultures were performed out of the pollen season, following stimulation by IL-4, no significant difference was observed between the levels of IgE produced by PBMC of atopic and non-atopic donors. In contrast, upon natural exposure to pollens, significant higher levels of IgE were measured in the atopic group than in the non-atopic one. These results show that the policn season infiuences the IL-4-induced IgE synthesis by PBMC of allergic patients and are in keeping with seasonal rise of specific IgE antibodies.
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