Allergen Cross-Reactivity Between Proteins of the Latex from Hevea brasiliensis, Seeds and Pollen of Ricinus communis, and Pollen of Mercurialis annua, Members of the Euphorbiaceae Family
Allergen cross-reactions among three strongly sensitizing Euphorbiaceae species, i.e., the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), castor bean (Ricinus communis), and the Mediterranean weed Mercurialis annua were studied in Finnish patients (n = 25) allergic to natural rubber latex (NRL), but with no known exposure to castor bean or M. annua, and French patients allergic to castor bean (n = 26) or to M. annua (n = 9), but not to NRL. In immunoglobulin E (IgE)-immunoblotting, 28% of NRL-allergic patient sera recognized castor bean seed and 48% reacted to castor bean pollen proteins. Likewise, 35% of the NRL-allergic patient sera bound to M. annua pollen allergens. Nineteen percent of castor bean-allergic patients showed IgE to NRL and 8% to M. annua proteins. Sera from patients allergic to M. annua reacted in 44% to NRL, in 56% to castor bean seed, and in 78% to castor bean pollen proteins. In immunoblotting, castor bean seed extract inhibited the binding of NRL-reactive IgE to 20 kDa, 30 kDa of NRL, and 55 kDa of proteins; NRL extract, in turn, inhibited the binding of castor bean-reactive IgE to 14, 21-22, 29, and 32-34 kDa of castor bean proteins. In ELISA inhibition, NRL extract inhibited 33% of the binding of M. annua--reactive IgE of pooled sera to M. annua pollen. In conclusion, allergen cross-reactivity in vitro was observed among three botanically related Euphorbiaceae members, H. brasiliensis, R. communis, and M. annua, but the molecular specificity of the observed cross-reactions as well as their clinical significance remains to be elucidated. Allergen cross-reactivity should be taken into account in diagnostic work.
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2002-03-01
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