The production of interferon-gamma in response to a major peanut allergy, Ara h II correlates with serum levels of IgE anti-Ara h II.
The current study was undertaken to examine the potential role of T cells in the pathogenesis of peanut allergy. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with peanut allergy, patients with asthma, and nonatopic normal control subjects were assessed for proliferation after stimulation with a 17 kd major peanut allergen (Ara h II), ovalbumin, casein, soy, and Candida albicans. We found that Ara h II and C. albicans induced significantly higher levels of proliferation than ovalbumin, casein, and soy. Because interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) play critical roles in IgE regulation, we assessed the production of these cytokines after stimulation with C. albicans and Ara h II. C. albicans stimulated similar levels of IFN-gamma in all three study groups. In contrast, after stimulation with Ara h II, culture supernatants from PBMCs of subjects with peanut allergy contained significantly lower levels of IFN-gamma than did the PBMCs of the two control groups (p = 0.02). More important, there was a significant (p = 0.05) inverse correlation between the serum IgE anti-Ara h II levels and IFN-gamma production by PBMCs from the respective peanut-allergic patients. IL-4 protein was not detected in culture supernatants of PBMCs stimulated with Ara h II. However, amplification of cytokine gene transcripts by polymerase chain reaction did demonstrate IL-4 expression in Ara h II-stimulated PBMCs from both patients with peanut allergy and control subjects. These data suggest that the level of IFN-gamma production in response to Ara h II may be an important factor in determining the development of peanut-specific IgE responses.
Dorion, BJ; Burks, AW; Harbeck, R; Williams, LW; Trumble, A; Helm, RM; Leung, DY
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