Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Kerzel S, Rogosch T, Struecker B, Maier RF, Zemlin M.
J Immunol. 2010 Aug 15;185(4):2253-60
Allergic asthma is the most frequent chronic disorder in childhood. Although IgE is a central effector molecule in allergic diseases, the nature of the IgE response is still under debate. The objective of our study was to clarify whether the IgE repertoire in the circulation of allergic children represents a classical Ag-driven and oligoclonal B cell response, a superantigen-like activation of a subset of B cells, or a polyclonal B-1 cell expansion. Using a highly sensitive RT-PCR method, we amplified, cloned, and sequenced IgE H chain transcripts from 13 children with allergic asthma. We gained 1366 functional IgE sequences, which currently represent the most extensive collection of human IgE transcripts. Compared to IgM transcripts from the same children, the somatic mutation rate was significantly enhanced in IgE transcripts (21 per thousand versus 72 per thousand; p < 0.001), which renders a polyclonal B-1 response unlikely. Moreover, IgE sequences displayed significantly enhanced Ag selection and hence were indicative of a classical Ag-driven immune response with affinity maturation (p < 0.001). In contrast to several recent studies, the usage pattern of variable gene segment of the H Ig chain in IgE transcripts followed the germline complexity, arguing against a superantigen-like interaction. We conclude that IgE transcripts in the circulation of children with allergic asthma reflect a classical adaptive B-2 cell response. This study provides reference data for a better characterization of the IgE response under immunomodulating therapies, such as anti-IgE therapy or allergen-specific immunotherapy.
Address (URL): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20660349