Origins and clonal convergence of gastrointestinal IgE + B cells in human peanut allergy

Sci Immunol. 2020 Mar 6;5(45):eaay4209. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aay4209.


B cells in human food allergy have been studied predominantly in the blood. Little is known about IgE+ B cells or plasma cells in tissues exposed to dietary antigens. We characterized IgE+ clones in blood, stomach, duodenum, and esophagus of 19 peanut-allergic patients, using high-throughput DNA sequencing. IgE+ cells in allergic patients are enriched in stomach and duodenum, and have a plasma cell phenotype. Clonally related IgE+ and non-IgE-expressing cell frequencies in tissues suggest local isotype switching, including transitions between IgA and IgE isotypes. Highly similar antibody sequences specific for peanut allergen Ara h 2 are shared between patients, indicating that common immunoglobulin genetic rearrangements may contribute to pathogenesis. These data define the gastrointestinal tract as a reservoir of IgE+ B lineage cells in food allergy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2S Albumins, Plant / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Antigens, Plant / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Immobilized Nucleic Acids / analysis
  • Immobilized Nucleic Acids / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology*


  • 2S Albumins, Plant
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Ara h 2 allergen, Arachis hypogaea
  • Immobilized Nucleic Acids
  • Immunoglobulin E