Impact of CD40 Ligand, B Cells, and Mast Cells in Peanut-Induced Anaphylactic Responses
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The effector immune mechanisms underlying peanut-induced anaphylaxis remain to be fully elucidated. We investigated the relative contribution of Igs, mast cells (MCs), and FcepsilonRI in the elicitation of anaphylaxis in a murine model. Assessment of peanut hypersensitivity reactions was performed clinically and biologically. Our data show that wild-type (WT; C57BL/6 strain) mice consistently developed severe anaphylaxis (median clinical score: 3.5/5), an approximately 8 degrees C drop in core body temperature, and significantly increased plasma levels of histamine and leukotrienes. CD40 ligand- and B cell-deficient mice presented evidence of allergic sensitization as demonstrated by production of Th2-associated cytokines by splenocytes and a late-phase inflammatory response that were both indistinguishable to those detected in WT mice. However, CD40 ligand- and B cell-deficient mice did not exhibit any evidence of anaphylaxis. Our data also show that MC-deficient (Kit(W)/Kit(W-v)) mice did not suffer, unlike their littermate controls, anaphylactic reactions despite the fact that serum levels of peanut-specific Igs were similarly elevated. Finally, FcepsilonRI-deficient mice experienced anaphylactic responses although to a significantly lesser degree than those observed in WT mice. Thus, these data demonstrate that the presence of peanut-specific Abs along with functional MCs comprise a necessary and sufficient condition for the elicitation of peanut-induced anaphylaxis. That the absence of FcepsilonRI prevented the development of anaphylaxis only partially insinuates the contribution of an IgE-independent pathway, and suggests that strategies to impair MC degranulation may be necessary to improve the efficacy of anti-IgE therapy.
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