Background: High levels of antigen-nonspecific IgE are produced in animals infected with helminth parasites. Generally, the increase in IgE is thought to exacerbate allergic reactions. However, high levels of antigen-nonspecific IgE may alter some features of anaphylactic reactions. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of antigen-nonspecific IgE production induced during filarial infections, we previously constructed rDiAg (recombinant Dirofilaria immitis-derived antigen) in Escherichia coli. In the present study, we examined the effect of rDiAg on the production of antigen-nonspecific IgE and on allergic cutaneous reactions in rats. Methods: Osmotic pumps filled with 200 μg of rDiAg or with 200 μl of PBS (control) were subcutaneously implanted in Wistar rats, and plasma samples were collected weekly thereafter. IgE levels were determined by ELISA. Homologous passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) reactions with anti-DNP-As IgE were examined 21 days after implantation. 125I-IgE binding assays were examined on peritoneal mast cells from rDiAg-infused rats and control rats. Results: Antigen-nonspecific IgE production was induced in rDiAg-infused rats. PCA reactions were suppressed in rDiAg-infused rats in spite of high levels of IgE and a markedly increased expression of FcεRI. 125I-IgE did not bind to mast cells derived from rDiAg-infused rats, but it bound dose dependently to mast cells derived from control rats. Conclusion: The present data support the hypothesis that antigen-nonspecific IgE might protect against antigen-specific IgE by means of competition for mast cell receptors. rDiAg is an essential factor to induce antigen-nonspecific IgE in helminth infections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy