Changes in intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels in peripheral blood leukocytes during immunotherapy with vespid venom

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Mar;98(3):281-5. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60719-3.


Background: The allergen-induced release of mediators from basophils is known to be decreased after rush venom immunotherapy (VIT) compared with pretreatment values. A rise in the intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) level is known to inhibit mediator release.

Objectives: To determine changes in cAMP levels in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) during rush VIT and to evaluate their relation to allergen-specific reactivity of basophils.

Methods: Ten patients allergic to vespid venom (VV) were investigated before rush VIT and after reaching the maintenance dose. Five VV-allergic patients not undergoing VIT served as controls. Patients' PBLs were incubated with VV, and allergen-induced histamine and leukotriene release from basophils was measured. Levels of cAMP were determined in PBLs and in plasma.

Results: Immediately after rush VIT, VV-induced histamine release (P = .04) and VV-induced leukotriene release (P = .01) were significantly reduced. Intracellular cAMP levels increased significantly (P = .047). However, 6 months after VIT, mediator responses in basophils were comparable with pre-VIT values. No significant changes were found in the control group.

Conclusions: An increase in intracellular cAMP levels might account for the decreased reactivity of basophils to allergen after 1 week of VIT. However, similar to the decreased mediator release after 1 week of VIT, this is not a long-term effect as values returned to baseline after 6 months.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Immunotherapy
  • Insect Bites and Stings / immunology
  • Insect Bites and Stings / therapy*
  • Intracellular Fluid / immunology
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Wasp Venoms / immunology
  • Wasp Venoms / therapeutic use*


  • Wasp Venoms
  • Cyclic AMP