Chronic cat allergen exposure induces a TH2 cell-dependent IgG4 response related to low sensitization

A. Renand, L.D. Archila, J. Mcginty, E. Wambre, D. Robinson, Belinda Hales, Wayne Thomas, W.W. Kwok

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31 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Background In human subjects, allergen tolerance has been observed after high-dose allergen exposure or after completed allergen immunotherapy, which is related to the accumulation of anti-inflammatory IgG4. However, the specific T-cell response that leads to IgG4 induction during chronic allergen exposure remains poorly understood. Objective We sought to evaluate the relationship between cat allergen-specific T-cell frequency, cat allergen-specific IgE and IgG4 titers, and clinical status in adults with cat allergy with and without cat ownership and the cellular mechanism by which IgG4 is produced. Methods Fel d 1-, Fel d 4-, Fel d 7-, and Fel d 8-specific T-cell responses were characterized by CD154 expression after antigen stimulation. Results In allergic subjects without cat ownership, the frequency of cat allergen (Fel d 1 and Fel d 4)-specific TH2 (sTH2) cells correlates with higher IgE levels and is linked to asthma. Paradoxically, we observed that subjects with cat allergy and chronic cat exposure maintain a high frequency of sTH2 cells, which correlates with higher IgG4 levels and low sensitization. B cells from allergic, but not nonallergic subjects, are able to produce IgG4 after cognate interactions with sTH2 clones and Fel d 1 peptide or the Fel d 1 recombinant protein. Conclusion These experiments suggest that (1) allergen-experienced B cells with the capacity to produce IgG4 are present in allergic subjects and (2) cat allergen exposure induces an IgG4 response in a TH2 cell-dependent manner. Thus IgG4 accumulation could be mediated by chronic activation of the TH2 response, which in turn drives desensitization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1627-1635.e13
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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