Nasal provocation with allergen induces a secondary serum IgE antibody response

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Oct;100(4):505-10. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(97)70143-x.


The study of the IgE response to seasonal antigen exposure is limited by its occurrence once a year and by the variability of patient exposure to pollens. To overcome these problems, we investigated whether nasal challenge with antigen causes an increase in serum anti-ragweed IgE levels. We challenged individuals with ragweed allergy intranasally with nanogram quantities of ragweed antigen extract and measured their serum anti-ragweed IgE levels before and at weekly intervals after challenge. In a series of studies we found that there was a reproducible rise in antigen-specific serum IgE levels beginning the first week after challenge that plateaued at about 180% of baseline levels during the fourth week and remained elevated for 8 weeks. Not all individuals showed this response. The magnitude of the allergen-specific IgE response to nasal challenge appeared to be greater than the response to seasonal exposure. Treatment with intranasal beclomethasone before challenge did not affect the response. The results demonstrate a human in vivo model for the study of the antigen-specific secondary IgE response to allergen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Allergens / administration & dosage*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens / administration & dosage
  • Beclomethasone / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Nasal Provocation Tests*
  • Placebos
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / blood
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / metabolism


  • Allergens
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Antigens
  • Placebos
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Beclomethasone