Late asthmatic reactions induced by inhalation of allergen-derived T cell peptides

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Jan 1;169(1):20-6. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200305-690OC. Epub 2003 Sep 18.


In individuals with atopy and asthma, allergen-derived T cell peptides injected intradermally induce isolated late asthmatic reactions (LARs) followed by bronchial hyporesponsiveness to peptide, inhibition of the allergen-induced cutaneous late-phase reaction, and altered T cell function in vitro. Laboratory animal data indicate that "activation" and "tolerance" also occur if peptides are inhaled. In this study, we show that inhalation of Fel d 1-derived peptides induced isolated LAR in individuals with asthma sensitive to cat allergen comparable with that previously demonstrated using intradermal injection. LARs were accompanied by eosinophilia and nonsignificant elevations of total cysteinyl leukotrienes in the sputum. Unlike the intradermal route, repeated inhalation of peptides was not associated with abrogation of the LAR and produced a sputum eosinophilia comparable with the first exposure. In addition, there was no inhibition of the cutaneous late-phase reaction to whole cat dander. Thus, isolated LAR induced by inhaled, allergen-derived peptides represent a novel model of provoked asthma and are not associated with the induction of hyporesponsiveness ("tolerance") in the skin or lung.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Cats
  • Cohort Studies
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / administration & dosage
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / administration & dosage
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Intradermal Tests
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Peptide Fragments / administration & dosage
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Glycoproteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Fel d 1 protein, Felis domesticus