The relationship between late asthmatic responses and antigen-specific immunoglobulin
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The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between allergen-induced early and late airway responses and antigen-specific IgE, IgG, and lymphocyte subsets in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Brown Norway rats were sensitized at 7 weeks of age with ovalbumin (1 mg s.c.) with use of Bordetella pertussis as an adjuvant. Three weeks after sensitization, animals were anesthetized and challenged with an aerosol of ovalbumin (5% wt/vol in saline) for 5 minutes. Each animal was studied for 8 hours with repeated measurements of lung resistance. Blood was obtained at 0, 1, 2, and 3 weeks before ovalbumin challenge. Ovalbumin-specific IgE and IgG were determined by ELISA. No specific antibody was detectable before sensitization. Ovalbumin-specific IgE and IgG rose between 1 to 2 weeks after sensitization and peaked at 3 weeks. The IgE level did not correlate with the magnitude of either the early or the late responses. In a similar manner no correlation existed between the magnitude of specific IgG and the late response. However, a significant inverse correlation (r = -0.73; p < 0.01) occurred between specific IgG and the early response. No correlation occurred between the ratio of helper (W3/25 +) to suppressor (OX-8 +) lymphocytes in blood and BAL and airway responses to allergen. The size of the early and late responses were correlated, suggesting a common stimulus. Despite the blunting of the early response by repeated sensitization the late response was unaffected, suggesting that the factors that determine the physiologic expression of the early and late responses are different.