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. 2005 Aug;35(8):1056-64.
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2005.02310.x.

Functional Analysis of Cross-Reactive Immunoglobulin E Antibodies: Peanut-Specific Immunoglobulin E Sensitizes Basophils to Tree Nut Allergens

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Functional Analysis of Cross-Reactive Immunoglobulin E Antibodies: Peanut-Specific Immunoglobulin E Sensitizes Basophils to Tree Nut Allergens

M P de Leon et al. Clin Exp Allergy. .

Abstract

Background: Peanut and tree nuts are a major cause of food-induced anaphylaxis with an appreciable mortality. Co-sensitization to peanuts and tree nuts is a common clinical observation and may be because of peanut-specific serum IgE antibodies that cross-react with tree nut allergens. It is, however, unclear whether these cross-reactive IgE antibodies are involved in effector-cell activation.

Objective: To determine if cross-reactivity of peanut-specific IgE antibodies with tree nuts can cause effector cell activation using an in vitro basophil activation assay.

Methods: Two peanut allergic subjects with positive specific IgE for peanut and tree nuts (as measured by CAP-FEIA) were studied. Basophil activation to peanut and tree nuts, as indicated by CD63 expression, was assessed by flow cytometry to confirm co-sensitization to peanut and tree nuts. Inhibition ELISA using sera from the subjects was performed to detect peanut-specific IgE antibodies that cross-reacted with tree nut proteins. To determine whether cross-reactive tree nut allergens can induce effector-cell activation, peanut-specific antibodies were affinity purified from the subject sera and used to resensitize non-peanut/tree nut allergic donor basophils stripped of surface IgE. Basophil activation was then measured following stimulation with peanut and tree nut extracts.

Results: The two peanut allergic subjects in this study showed positive basophil activation to the peanut and tree nut extracts. Inhibition ELISA demonstrated that pre-incubation of the peanut allergic subject sera with almond, Brazil nut and hazelnut extracts inhibited IgE binding to peanut extract. IgE-stripped basophils from non-peanut/tree nut allergic subjects resensitized with affinity-purified peanut-specific antibodies from the peanut allergic subject sera became activated following stimulation with peanut, almond and Brazil nut extracts, demonstrating biological activity of cross-reactive IgE antibodies.

Conclusion: Peanut-specific IgE antibodies that cross-react with tree nut allergens can cause effector-cell activation and may contribute to the manifestation of tree nut allergy in peanut allergic subjects.

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