Immunologic studies in allergen-induced late-phase asthmatic reactions

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We have measured plasma histamine, serum neutrophil chemotactic activity (NCA) and complement (C3 and C4) over a 24-hour period in patients experiencing either early- and late-phase (dual) or single early asthmatic reactions to inhaled allergens. There was a significant biphasic elevation in plasma histamine, which paralleled the fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec in 10 patients with dual responses, whereas in seven subjects with single early reactions, only a single early increase in histamine concentrations was observed. In general, in the individual subjects, the changes in plasma histamine paralleled both the elevations in serum NCA and the decreases in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec. By gel filtration on Sephacryl S-400, anion exchange chromatography on DEAE Sephacel, and chromatofocusing with Polybuffer Exchanger 94, the major NCA of both the early and the late reactions was associated with proteins having an estimated molecular size of 600,000 daltons, an elution from DEAE Sephacel at 0.15M to 0.30M of NaCl (pH 8.1), and a pI of approximately 6.5. There were no appreciable changes in serum C3 and C4 up to 24 hr after challenge in subjects with late-hase responses. The patterns of asthmatic response were not related to either the total or allergen-specific serum IgE or IgG4 concentrations. These results support the view that mediators of hypersensitivity participate in late-phase as well as early asthmatic reactions. © 1984.




Durham, S. R., Lee, T. H., Cromwell, O., Shaw, R. J., Merrett, T. G., Merrett, J., … Kay, A. B. (1984). Immunologic studies in allergen-induced late-phase asthmatic reactions. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 74(1), 49–60.

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