Cell-mediated immune response of ragweed-sensitive patients to ragweed antigen E. In vitro lymphocyte transformation and elaboration of lymphocyte mediators

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
R RocklinR Evans

Abstract

The in vivo and in vitro responses to ragweed antigen E were evaluated in 28 untreated atopic patients with ragweed hayfever. The methods employed included direct skin testing, measurement of total serum IgE, measurement of specific IgE anti-ragweed antibodies, leukocyte histamine release, lymphocyte transformation, and release of lymphocyte mediators (migration inhibitory factor and mitogenic factor). The patients could be divided into sensitive and insensitive groups on the basis of their in vitro reactivity to antigen E. 20 patients in the sensitive group had statistically higher levels of total serum IgE, higher levels of specific IgE anti-ragweed antibodies, and greater leukocyte sensitivity as measured by antigen-induced histamine release than did eight patients in the insensitive group. Lymphocytes from sensitive patients produced greater amounts of migration inhibitory factor and mitogenic factor when challenged by antigen E than did lymphocytes from insensitive patients. A possible role for the lymphocyte in this allergic disease is discussed. The results of this study indicate that the immune response to ragweed antigen is complex and involves components of both immediate and delayed hypersensitivity.

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