Proliferation and release of IL-5 and IFN-γ by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from cat-allergic asthmatics and rhinitics, non–cat-allergic asthmatics, and normal controls to peptides derived from Fel d 1 chain 1
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BACKGROUND: In general, T cells from normal, nonatopic individuals respond to aeroallergens with synthesis and release of IFN-gamma. In contrast, release of T(H)2-type cytokines by activated lymphocytes is a feature of allergic rhinitis and atopic asthma. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine differences in T-cell recognition of epitopes within allergenic sequences, in terms of proliferation and cytokine production, in subjects with atopic asthma compared with subjects with allergic rhinitis and normal controls. METHODS: Proliferative responses and IL-5/IFN-gamma release patterns from PBMCs from cat-allergic asthmatic, cat-allergic rhinitic, and non-cat-allergic asthmatic subjects and nonatopic normal controls were determined in primary cultures. Cells were challenged with 7 overlapping peptides spanning chain 1 of the major cat allergen, Fel d 1. RESULTS: The 4 groups did not differ with respect to the ability to mount proliferative responses to Fel d 1 peptides. In all groups, the IFN-gamma responses were predominantly to the amino terminus peptides. Cat-allergic and non-cat-allergic asthmatic subjects (and not cat-allergic rhinitic subjects and normal controls) made IL-5 responses to most of the Fel d 1 peptides, the result being a mixed (T(H)0) cytokine response at the N-terminus and a restricted (T(H)2) response at the C-terminus. CONCLUSION: Proliferative and IL-5/IFN-gamma responses of T cells from asthmatic and atopic rhinitic subjects and normal controls to allergen peptides can be dissociated. Furthermore, differing cytokine responses to peptides derived from a single antigen suggest that certain domains of the molecule might preferentially induce IL-5 rather than IFN-gamma and as a result could be more important in disease pathogenesis.