Fel d I levels in cat anal glands


Dr D. Vervloet, Service de Pneumo-Allergologie, Département des Maladies Respiratoires, Hôpital Sainte-Marguerite, BP 29, 13277 Marseille Cedex 9, France.


Background Major cat allergen Fel d I is produced consistently by skin and by sebaceous glands before being spread on the fur.

Objective Since cats have tubular anal glands secreting sebum, proteins and lipids, we looked at the possible presence of Eel d I in these secretions and compared the levels found to those already reported in other cat tissues or secretions.

Methods Thirty-seven cats were studied. Eel d I dosage in the anal sacs’ secretions was performed using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method and total protein evaluation by the Bradford's method.

Results The geometric mean Eel d I concentration was 41 U/g secretion which represents 3.4% of the total protein levels. This amount is the highest ever reported in cat tissues or secretions.

Conclusion The close association of Eel d I protein with skin sebaceous glands and anal sacs both with holocrine function and lipids’ secretions in one hand, and the homology of chain I of Eel d I with some steroid-binding proteins in other hand, suggest a possible physiological role for Eel d I in the regulation of lipids on skin and cat fur.