Immunotherapeutic potential of the immunodominant T-cell epitope of lipocalin allergen Bos d 2 and its analogues

Immunology. 2008 Mar;123(3):358-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2007.02699.x. Epub 2007 Oct 16.


Lipocalin allergens, which contain most of the important animal-derived respiratory sensitizers, induce T helper type 2 (Th2) deviation, but the reasons for this are not clear. To explore the prospects for peptide-based allergen immunotherapy and to elucidate the characteristics of the immunodominant epitope of Bos d 2, BALB/c mice were immunized with a peptide containing the epitope, peptides containing its analogues, peptides from the corresponding regions of other lipocalin proteins, and peptides with a homologous sequence. We observed that murine spleen cells recognized the immunodominant epitope of Bos d 2, p127-142, in almost the same way as human Bos d 2-specific T cells did. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot-forming cell assay (ELISPOT) analyses showed that p127-142 and a corresponding peptide from horse Equ c 1 induced a Th2-deviated cellular response, whereas a homologous bacterial peptide from Spiroplasma citri induced a Th0-type response. Interestingly, the spleen cell response to the bacterial peptide and p127-142 was cross-reactive, that is, able to induce reciprocally the proliferation and cytokine production of primed spleen cells in vitro. More importantly, the peptides were able to skew the phenotype of T cells primed with the other peptide. Our results suggest that modified peptides can be useful in allergen immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cross Reactions
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Immunization / methods
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Spiroplasma citri / immunology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Bos d 2 allergen
  • Cytokines
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma