Background: Some patients with Japanese cedar pollen (JCP)-induced allergic rhinitis develop pollen-food allergy syndrome (PFAS) as a reaction to tomato fruit. Pollen allergen-specific subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is reportedly beneficial for some associated food allergies; however, the reported changes in food allergen-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E and IgG4 levels are inconsistent. Here, we investigated immunologic reactivity to tomato fruit after JCP-based SCIT. Methods: Twenty-three children (aged 6-17 years) with JCP-induced allergic rhinitis and sensitized to tomato (serum tomato fruit-specific IgE level >0.34 UA/ml) received JCP-based SCIT. Basophil activation by tomato and JCP extracts and serum-specific IgE and IgG4 levels against these allergens were determined before and after 4 or 5 months of maintenance SCIT. Basophil activation was assessed by monitoring CD203c upregulation on flow cytometry. Results: JCP-based SCIT significantly reduced the basophil activation caused by tomato fruit (p = 0.03) and JCP (p < 0.001) extracts. JCP-specific IgG4 levels markedly increased after SCIT (p < 0.001), whereas tomato fruit-specific IgG4 levels did not. After SCIT, no significant changes were observed in specific IgE levels for tomato fruit (p = 0.11) or JCP (p = 0.19). Conclusions: Tomato fruit-specific basophil activation decreases after JCP-based SCIT, suggesting that it is efficacious in relieving and preventing the symptoms of PFAS in patients with JCP-induced allergic rhinitis.
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