Background: Airway responsiveness to allergen in patients with allergic asthma is studied by bronchial allergen challenge. Although the typical features of the early and late responses on lung function and bronchial inflammation after allergen challenge are well known, little has been reported as yet on any changes in systemic allergic and immunologic parameters after 4-6 weeks.
Methods: In a clinical study, 27 subjects with allergic asthma and house dust mite (HDM) allergy underwent a bronchial allergen challenge with HDM. Blood samples were collected before and 5 weeks after allergen challenge. Serum levels of total IgE and allergen-specific IgE were measured, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and stimulated ex vivo with HDM to determine the allergen-specific T-cell cytokine response.
Results: Five weeks after bronchial allergen challenge with HDM, the amount of circulating IgE against HDM and the major allergenic components Der p1 and Der p2 was significantly increased (10.8% and 8.8%, respectively). IgE antibodies against other environmental allergens decreased (grass pollen) or remained unchanged (cat dander). Allergen-induced Th2-cytokine production was also significantly increased (P< 0.001, P=0.014, and P=0.006 for IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, respectively). The increase in Der p1- and Der p2-specific IgE in serum correlated with increased numbers of Th2-cytokine-producing cells (Rs=0.56, P=0.002 and Rs=0.54, P=0.004 for IL-4 and IL-13, respectively).
Conclusions: A single bronchial allergen challenge with HDM is accompanied by increased levels of allergen-specific IgE for HDM in serum and an enhanced Th2 response to HDM still detectable 5 weeks after challenge.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.