Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Background The dust mite Lepidoglyphus destructor is an important cause of allergic reactions to dust, especially in farming environments. Two isoforms, recombinant (r)Lep d 2.01 and rLep d 2.02, of the major allergen Lep d 2, have previously been expressed as recombinant proteins. These isoforms differ 10.4% at the amino acid level. Furthermore, a mutant form of Lep d 2.01 (rLep d 2.6Cys) with a highly reduced IgE reactivity, has also been produced.Objective To investigate the T cell responses to the recombinant isoforms of Lep d 2, the Lep d 2.6Cys mutant and peptides of Lep d 2, in allergic and non-allergic individuals.Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 18 allergic and 16 non-allergic individuals were stimulated with the different antigens and the proliferative responses were measured. The cytokine production (interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and interferon (IFN)-γ) were measured by ELISA.Results Higher T cell proliferation was measured to isoform 01 than to 02 in 28/34 subjects. The responses to rLep d 2.6Cys were lower than to isoform 01 in most subjects, but higher than to Lep d 2.02. Two immuno-dominant peptides, corresponding to amino acid residue 11–25 and 61–75 were identified. The atopic subjects produced significantly lower IFN-γ in response to Lep d 2.01 as compared to the non-atopics.Conclusions There was a significant difference in T cell response between the two isoforms of rLep d 2. The hypoallergenic mutant rLep d 2.6Cys was able to evoke a T cell response with a magnitude which is between the two isoforms. Amino acid residue 11–25 and 61–75 are the most frequently recognized parts of Lep d 2 and are likely to contain the immuno-dominant T cell epitopes.
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