Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Reproducible model of allergic airway disease induced by natural house dust mite allergen

To test the efficacy of experimental DNA allergen vaccines a reliable model of the response to a 'real' lung allergen in an intact immune system was needed.

The model not only had to be immunologically robust and produce signs of disease it also had to involve the minimal amount of handling and stress.

To this end we used the natural, house dust mite derived, human allergen Der p1 from the faeces of Dermatophagoides pteronyssimus, a major allergen in non-seasonal allergic asthma.

Two sensitising and two challenge doses of allergen were necessary to induce allergic airway disease characterised by lung inflammation, eosinophilia and goblet cell differentiation.

Changes were seen in local immune responses in draining lymph nodes - high secretion of cytokines associated with allergy [IL-5], and/or Th2 responses [IL-10 and IL-13].

Antigen reactive cells were present throughout but effector responses were only induced by lung challenge and were transient. IgE antibody induction required lung challenge and was transient.

IgG1 antibodies were found regardless of challenge, were boosted by challenge and continued increasing after challenge.

Th1 cytokines or antibodies were not detected at any timepoint. The model was set such that it could be modulated to monitor both increased and decreased inflammation.

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Sarah HOWIE, (Professor)
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