Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Original article
Rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies associated with inhibition of IgE–allergen complex binding in laboratory animal workers
  1. M Jones1,
  2. H Jeal1,
  3. S Schofield1,
  4. J M Harris1,
  5. M H Shamji2,
  6. J N Francis2,
  7. S R Durham2,
  8. P Cullinan1
  1. 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, part of the Medical Research Council and Asthma UK Centre for Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Meinir Jones, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Imperial College, 1B Manresa Rd, London SW3 6LR, UK; meinir.jones{at}imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives The relationship between exposure to rodent allergens and laboratory animal allergy is complex; at highest allergen exposures there is an attenuation of sensitisation and symptoms which are associated with increased levels of rat-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgG4 antibodies. We set out to examine whether the increased levels of rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies that we have previously observed at high allergen exposure in our cohort of laboratory animal workers play a functional role through blockage of the binding of IgE–allergen complex binding to CD23 receptors on B cells.

Methods Cross-sectional survey of laboratory animal workers (n=776) in six UK pharmaceutical companies were surveyed. IgE–allergen complex binding to B cells was measured in 703 (97.9%) eligible employees; their exposure was categorised by either job group or number of rats handled daily.

Results We observed a significant decrease in IgE–allergen complex binding to B cells with increasing quartiles of both rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies (p<0.001). IgE–allergen complex binding to B cells was lower in workers with high allergen exposure, and significantly so (p=0.033) in the subgroup with highest exposures but no work-related chest symptoms.

Conclusions These findings demonstrate a functional role for rat-specific IgG/G4 antibodies in laboratory animal workers, similar to that observed in patients treated with high dose immunotherapy who become clinically tolerant, suggesting a potential explanation for the attenuation of risk at highest allergen exposures.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.