• bronchial challenge;
  • clinical effect;
  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus;
  • histamine release;
  • hyposensitization;
  • IgE;
  • IgG subclasses;
  • monomethoxypolyethylene glycol, skin test

Forty-six adult asthmatics allergic to D. pteronyssinus (Dp) participated in a 2-year study. Thirty-one underwent hyposensitization (HS-group). Fifteen were treated with Dp-extract (Dp-group), and 16 with a similar extract modified by monomethoxypolyethylene glycol with reduced allergenicity (mPEG-Dp-group). Fifteen patients served as controls. Dp-specific antibodies and histamine release from blood basophils were determined and compared with Dp-sensitivity in lungs and skin. In addition, IgG and IgE against the major allergen Der p I were followed in a subgroup. Dp-specific IgG, IgG., and IgG4 increased significantly in both HS-treated groups after 1 and 2 years (median; 2.5- to 11.6-fold). IgG4 was not induced if maintenance dose during the first year was less than 20,000 BU. Median skin sensitivity decreased 4.4- to 8.2-fold after 1 year and 7.4- to 21.4-fold after 2 years. Der p I specific IgG response was unrelated to the occurrence or change in IgE with the same specificity. The mPEG-Dp-extract tended to have less effect on skin sensitivity and immunological parameters, differences reaching statistical significance for skin sensitivity only. In the HS-group, the decrease in bronchial sensitivity was significantly correlated to a decrease in IgE (r = 0.36), IgG1/IgG4 (r = 0.49), Dp-specific histamine release (r = 0.58), and to an increase in Dp-specific IgG, (r =−0.36) and IgG4/IgE (r =−0.48). In patients improving clinically. Dp-specific IgG4/IgE increased, and median Dp-specific IgE was reduced to 80 % compared with an increase to 150–160% seen in the unchanged or deteriorated group (P < 0.05). Findings indicate an improvement of effect, if the allergen dose is sufficient to reduce specific IgE and/or induce an IgG and especially IgG4 response.