Background Hev b 6.01 (prohevein) and Hev b 5 [acidic natural rubber latex (NRL) protein] are major IgE-binding allergens in NRL allergy.
Objective To examine allergen-specific cytokine and chemokine responses in NRL-allergic patients.
Methods Fourteen NRL-allergic patients and 10 healthy controls participated in the study. Hev b 6.01 and Hev b 5 were purified under non-denaturating conditions by chromatographic methods. Specific IgE antibodies were measured by ELISA and proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by 3H-thymidine incorporation assay. Allergen-specific induction of cytokine and chemokine mRNA in PBMC was measured by real-time PCR and protein levels by ELISA. Surface expression of chemokine receptors was analysed by flow cytometry.
Results Twelve (86%) NRL-allergic patients had positive skin prick test reactions and IgE antibodies against Hev b 6.01, but less than 30% responded to Hev b 5. Cell proliferation against Hev b 6.01, but not against Hev b 5, was significantly increased. Both allergens elicited significantly higher expression of pro-inflammatory and T-helper type 2 cytokines (TNF, IL-12p40, IL-13) and chemokines (CCL3, CCL4, CCL20) in the NRL-allergic patients than in controls. Interestingly, mRNA expression of the regulatory cytokine TGF-β1 was reduced, whereas IL-10 expression was enhanced after allergen stimulations in patients with NRL allergy. Finally, the NRL-allergic patients showed increased CCR4 expression on CD3+CD8− T cells and decreased CXCR3 expression on CD3+CD8+ T cells.
Conclusion Allergen-specific induction of cytokines and chemokines in PBMC and chemokine receptor expression on circulating T cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of NRL allergy.
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