Analysis of cytokine production by peanut-reactive T cells identifies residual Th2 effectors in highly allergic children who received peanut oral immunotherapy.
ABSTRACT: Only limited evidence is available regarding the cytokine repertoire of effector T cells associated with peanut allergy, and how these responses relate to IgE antibodies to peanut components.To interrogate T cell effector cytokine populations induced by Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 among peanut allergic (PA) children in the context of IgE and to evaluate their modulation during oral immunotherapy (OIT).Peanut-reactive effector T cells were analysed in conjunction with specific IgE profiles in PA children using intracellular staining and multiplex assay. Cytokine-expressing T cell subpopulations were visualized using SPICE.Ara h 2 dominated the antibody response to peanut as judged by prevalence and quantity among a cohort of children with IgE to peanut. High IgE (> 15 kU(A)/L) was almost exclusively associated with dual sensitization to Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 and was age independent. Among PA children, IL-4-biased responses to both major allergens were induced, regardless of whether IgE antibodies to Ara h 1 were present. Among subjects receiving OIT in whom high IgE was maintained, Th2 reactivity to peanut components persisted despite clinical desensitization and modulation of allergen-specific immune parameters including augmented specific IgG4 antibodies, Th1 skewing and enhanced IL-10. The complexity of cytokine-positive subpopulations within peanut-reactive IL-4(+) and IFN-?(+) T cells was similar to that observed in those who received no OIT, but was modified with extended therapy. Nonetheless, high Foxp3 expression was a distinguishing feature of peanut-reactive IL-4(+) T cells irrespective of OIT, and a correlate of their ability to secrete type 2 cytokines.Although total numbers of peanut-reactive IL-4(+) and IFN-?(+) T cells are modulated by OIT in highly allergic children, complex T cell populations with pathogenic potential persist in the presence of recognized immune markers of successful immunotherapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Most children with detectable peanut-specific IgE (P-sIgE) are not allergic to peanut. We addressed 2 non-mutually exclusive hypotheses for the discrepancy between allergy and sensitization: (1) differences in P-sIgE levels between children with peanut allergy (PA) and peanut-sensitized but tolerant (PS) children and (2) the presence of an IgE inhibitor, such as peanut-specific IgG4 (P-sIgG4), in PS patients. METHODS:Two hundred twenty-eight children (108 patients with PA, 77 PS patients, and 43 nonsensitized nonallergic subjects) were studied. Levels of specific IgE and IgG4 to peanut and its components were determined. IgE-stripped basophils or a mast cell line were used in passive sensitization activation and inhibition assays. Plasma of PS subjects and patients submitted to peanut oral immunotherapy (POIT) were depleted of IgG4 and retested in inhibition assays. RESULTS:Basophils and mast cells sensitized with plasma from patients with PA but not PS patients showed dose-dependent activation in response to peanut. Levels of sIgE to peanut and its components could only partially explain differences in clinical reactivity between patients with PA and PS patients. P-sIgG4 levels (P = .023) and P-sIgG4/P-sIgE (P < .001), Ara h 1-sIgG4/Ara h 1-sIgE (P = .050), Ara h 2-sIgG4/Ara h 2-sIgE (P = .004), and Ara h 3-sIgG4/Ara h 3-sIgE (P = .016) ratios were greater in PS children compared with those in children with PA. Peanut-induced activation was inhibited in the presence of plasma from PS children with detectable P-sIgG4 levels and POIT but not from nonsensitized nonallergic children. Depletion of IgG4 from plasma of children with PS (and POIT) sensitized to Ara h 1 to Ara h 3 partially restored peanut-induced mast cell activation (P = .007). CONCLUSIONS:Differences in sIgE levels and allergen specificity could not justify the clinical phenotype in all children with PA and PS children. Blocking IgG4 antibodies provide an additional explanation for the absence of clinical reactivity in PS patients sensitized to major peanut allergens.
Project description:Although peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) has been conclusively shown to cause desensitization, it is currently unknown whether clinical protection persists after stopping therapy.Our primary objective was to determine whether peanut OIT can induce sustained unresponsiveness after withdrawal of OIT.We conducted a pilot clinical trial of peanut OIT at 2 US centers. Subjects age 1 to 16 years were recruited and treated for up to 5 years with peanut OIT. The protocol was modified over time to permit dose increases to a maximum of 4000 mg/d peanut protein. Blood was collected at multiple time points. Clinical end points were measured with 5000-mg double-blinded, placebo-controlled food challenges once specific criteria were met.Of the 39 subjects originally enrolled, 24 completed the protocol and had evaluable outcomes. Twelve (50%) of 24 successfully passed a challenge 1 month after stopping OIT and achieved sustained unresponsiveness. Peanut was added to the diet. At baseline and the time of challenge, such subjects had smaller skin test results, as well as lower IgE levels specific for peanut, Ara h 1, and Ara h 2 and lower ratios of peanut-specific IgE/total IgE compared with subjects not passing. There were no differences in peanut IgG? levels or functional activity at the end of the study.This is the first demonstration of sustained unresponsiveness after peanut OIT, occurring in half of subjects treated for up to 5 years. OIT favorably modified the peanut-specific immune response in all subjects completing the protocol. Smaller skin test results and lower allergen-specific IgE levels were predictive of successful outcome.
Project description:Patients with peanut allergy have highly stable pathologic antibody repertoires to the immunodominant B-cell epitopes of the major peanut allergens Ara h 1 to 3.We used a peptide microarray technique to analyze the effect of treatment with peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) on such repertoires.Measurements of total peanut-specific IgE (psIgE) and peanut-specific IgG(4) (psIgG(4)) were made with CAP-FEIA. We analyzed sera from 22 patients with OIT and 6 control subjects and measured serum specific IgE and IgG(4) binding to epitopes of Ara h 1 to 3 using a high-throughput peptide microarray technique. Antibody affinity was measured by using a competitive peptide microarray, as previously described.At baseline, psIgE and psIgG(4) diversity was similar between patients and control subjects, and there was broad variation in epitope recognition. After a median of 41 months of OIT, polyclonal psIgG(4) levels increased from a median of 0.3 ?g/mL (interquartile range [25% to 75%], 0.1-0.43 ?g/mL) at baseline to 10.5 ?g/mL (interquartile range [25% to 75%], 3.95-45.48 ?g/mL; P < .0001) and included de novo specificities. psIgE levels were reduced from a median baseline of 85.45 kU(A)/L (23.05-101.0 kU(A)/L) to 7.75 kU(A)/L (2.58-30.55 kU(A)/L, P < .0001). Affinity was unaffected. Although the psIgE repertoire contracted in most OIT-treated patients, several subjects generated new IgE specificities, even as the total psIgE level decreased. Global epitope-specific shifts from IgE to IgG(4) binding occurred, including at an informative epitope of Ara h 2.OIT differentially alters Ara h 1 to 3 binding patterns. These changes are variable between patients, are not observed in control subjects, and include a progressive polyclonal increase in IgG(4) levels, with concurrent reduction in IgE amount and diversity.
Project description:There are no available clinical tests that can accurately predict peanut allergy (PA) and/or anaphylaxis. This study is aimed at evaluating whether the component-resolved diagnostic (CRD) IgE and IgG4 tests can (i) distinguish PA from asymptomatic peanut sensitization (PS) and (ii) differentiate anaphylactic from nonanaphylactic PA.This study included 20 nonatopic controls, 58 asymptomatically peanut-sensitized children, 55 nonanaphylactic, and 53 anaphylactic PA cases from the Chicago Food Allergy Study. IgE and IgG4 to 103 allergens were measured using the ImmunoCAP ISAC technology and were compared among each group of children. The random forest test was applied to estimate each allergen's ability to predict PA and/or peanut anaphylaxis.Peanut allergy cases (with or without anaphylaxis) had significantly higher IgE reactivity to Ara h 1-3 (peanut allergens) and Gly m 5-6 (soy allergens) than asymptomatically sensitized children (P < 0.00001). Similar but more modest relationships were found for IgG4 to Ara h 2 (P < 0.01). IgE to Ara h 2 was the major contributor to accurate discrimination between PA and asymptomatic sensitization. With an optimal cutoff point of 0.65 ISU-E, it conferred 99.1% sensitivity, 98.3% specificity, and a 1.2% misclassification rate in the prediction of PA, which represented a higher discriminative accuracy than IgE to whole peanut extract (P = 0.008). However, none of the IgE and/or IgG4 tests could significantly differentiate peanut anaphylaxis from nonanaphylactic PA.IgE to Ara h 2 can efficiently differentiate clinical PA from asymptomatic PS, which may represent a major step forward in the diagnosis of PA.
Project description:Activation of the steroidogenic enzyme CYP11A1 was shown to be necessary for the development of peanut-induced intestinal anaphylaxis and IL-13 production in allergic mice. We determined if levels of CYP11A1 in peripheral blood T cells from peanut-allergic (PA) children compared to non-allergic controls were increased and if levels correlated to IL-13 production and oral challenge outcomes to peanut. CYP11A1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly increased in activated CD4+ T cells from PA patients. In parallel, IL-13 production was significantly increased; IFN? levels were not different between groups. There were significant correlations between expression levels of CYP11A1 mRNA and levels of IL13 mRNA and protein, levels of serum IgE anti-Ara h 2 and to outcomes of peanut challenge. The importance of CYP11A1 on cytokine production was tested using a CYP11A1 CRISPR/Cas9 KO plasmid or an inhibitor of enzymatic CYP11A1 activity. Inhibition of CYP11A1 activation in patient cells treated with the inhibitor, aminoglutethimide, or CD4+ T cell line transfected with the CYP11A1 KO plasmid resulted in reduced IL-13 production. These data suggest that the CYP11A1-CD4+Tcell-IL-13 axis in activated CD4+ T cells from PA children is associated with development of PA reactions. CYP11A1 may represent a novel target for therapeutic intervention in PA children.
Project description:Oral immunotherapy (OIT) has been thought to induce clinical desensitization to allergenic foods, but trials coupling the clinical response and immunologic effects of peanut OIT have not been reported.The study objective was to investigate the clinical efficacy and immunologic changes associated with OIT.Children with peanut allergy underwent an OIT protocol including initial day escalation, buildup, and maintenance phases, and then oral food challenge. Clinical response and immunologic changes were evaluated.Of 29 subjects who completed the protocol, 27 ingested 3.9 g peanut protein during food challenge. Most symptoms noted during OIT resolved spontaneously or with antihistamines. By 6 months, titrated skin prick tests and activation of basophils significantly declined. Peanut-specific IgE decreased by 12 to 18 months, whereas IgG(4) increased significantly. Serum factors inhibited IgE-peanut complex formation in an IgE-facilitated allergen binding assay. Secretion of IL-10, IL-5, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha from PBMCs increased over a period of 6 to 12 months. Peanut-specific forkhead box protein 3 T cells increased until 12 months and decreased thereafter. In addition, T-cell microarrays showed downregulation of genes in apoptotic pathways.Oral immunotherapy induces clinical desensitization to peanut, with significant longer-term humoral and cellular changes. Microarray data suggest a novel role for apoptosis in OIT.
Project description:Effective immunotherapy for peanut allergy is hampered by a lack of understanding of peanut-reactive CD4(+) T cells.To identify, characterize, and track Ara h 1-reactive cells in subjects with peanut allergy by using Ara h 1-specific class II tetramers.Tetramer-guided epitope mapping was used to identify the antigenic peptides within the peanut allergen Ara h 1. Subsequently, HLA class II/Ara h 1-specific tetramers were used to determine the frequency and phenotype of Ara h 1-reactive T cells in subjects with peanut allergy. Cytokine profiles of Ara h 1-reactive T cells were also determined.Multiple Ara h 1 epitopes with defined HLA restriction were identified. Ara h 1-specific CD4(+) T cells were detected in all of the subjects with peanut allergy tested. Ara h 1-reactive T cells in subjects with allergy expressed CCR4 but did not express CRTH2. The percentage of Ara h1-reactive cells that expressed the ?7 integrin was low compared with total CD4(+) T cells. Ara h 1- reactive cells that secreted IFN-?, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-17 were detected.In individuals with peanut allergy, Ara h 1-reactive T cells occurred at moderate frequencies, were predominantly CCR4(+) memory cells, and produced IL-4. Class II tetramers can be readily used to detect Ara h 1-reactive T cells in the peripheral blood of subjects with peanut allergy without in vitro expansion and would be effective for tracking peanut-reactive CD4(+) T cells during immunotherapy.
Project description:Although promising results have emerged regarding oral immunotherapy (OIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for the treatment of peanut allergy (PA), direct comparisons of these approaches are limited.This study was conducted to compare the safety, efficacy, and mechanistic correlates of peanut OIT and SLIT.In this double-blind study children with PA were randomized to receive active SLIT/placebo OIT or active OIT/placebo SLIT. Doses were escalated to 3.7 mg/d (SLIT) or 2000 mg/d (OIT), and subjects were rechallenged after 6 and 12 months of maintenance. After unblinding, therapy was modified per protocol to offer an additional 6 months of therapy. Subjects who passed challenges at 12 or 18 months were taken off treatment for 4 weeks and rechallenged.Twenty-one subjects aged 7 to 13 years were randomized. Five discontinued therapy during the blinded phase. Of the remaining 16, all had a greater than 10-fold increase in challenge threshold after 12 months. The increased threshold was significantly greater in the active OIT group (141- vs 22-fold, P = .01). Significant within-group changes in skin test results and peanut-specific IgE and IgG4 levels were found, with overall greater effects with OIT. Adverse reactions were generally mild but more common with OIT (P < .001), including moderate reactions and doses requiring medication. Four subjects had sustained unresponsiveness at study completion.OIT appeared far more effective than SLIT for the treatment of PA but was also associated with significantly more adverse reactions and early study withdrawal. Sustained unresponsiveness after 4 weeks of avoidance was seen in only a small minority of subjects.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In Africa, peanuts are frequently consumed, but severe allergic reactions are rare. We investigated immunological patterns of clinical tolerance to peanut in peanut-sensitized but asymptomatic patients from central Africa compared to peanut-allergic and peanut-sensitized but asymptomatic patients from Sweden. METHODS:Sera from allergic patients (n = 54) from Zimbabwe sensitized to peanut but without allergic symptoms to peanut, and sera from peanut-allergic (n = 25) and peanut-sensitized but asymptomatic (n = 25) patients from Sweden were analyzed toward peanut allergen components (Ara h 1-3, 6, 8-9) and other allergen molecules from important allergen sources using microarray. IgE to Ara h 2 peptide epitopes was analyzed, and allergenic activity was assessed by basophil activation assay. RESULTS:Forty-six percent of the African and all peanut-allergic Swedish patients showed IgE toward one of the highly allergenic peanut allergens (Ara h 1-3, 6, 9). However, 48% of the African patients had IgE to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs) with low allergenic activity and 60% of the Swedish asymptomatic patients had IgE against the PR protein Ara h 8. IgG and IgG4 specificities and levels could not discriminate between the African asymptomatic and Swedish peanut-allergic patients. Asymptomatic patients almost lacked IgE to Ara h 2 peptides, which were recognized by peanut-allergic patients. Peanut IgE from peanut asymptomatic patients showed poor allergenic activity compared with IgE from peanut-allergic patients. CONCLUSIONS:Natural clinical tolerance to peanut in the African patients can be caused by IgE to low allergenic peanut components and by poor allergenic activity of peanut-specific IgE.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Only some patients with peanut allergy undergoing oral immunotherapy (OIT) achieve sustained clinical response. Basophil activation could provide a functional surrogate of efficacy. OBJECTIVE:We hypothesized that changes in basophil sensitivity and area under the curve (AUC) to the immunodominant allergen Ara h 2 correlate with clinical responses to OIT. METHODS:Children with peanut allergy aged 7 to 13 years were enrolled in a single-center, open-label peanut OIT trial. Levels of specific immunoglobulins were measured throughout OIT. Peripheral blood from multiple time points was stimulated in vitro with peanut allergens for flow cytometric assessment of the percentage of CD63hi activated basophils. RESULTS:Twenty-two of 30 subjects were successfully treated with OIT; after avoidance, 9 achieved sustained unresponsiveness (SU), and 13 had transient desensitization (TD). Basophil sensitivity, measured by using the dose that induces 50% of the maximal basophil response, to Ara h 2 stimulation decreased from baseline in subjects with SU (after OIT, P = .0041; after avoidance, P = .0011). At 3 months of OIT, basophil sensitivity in subjects with SU decreased from baseline compared with that in subjects with TD (median, 18-fold vs 3-fold; P = .01), with a receiver operating characteristic of 0.84 and optimal fold change of 4.9. Basophil AUC to Ara h 2 was suppressed after OIT equally in subjects with SU and those with TD (P = .4). After avoidance, basophil AUC rebounded in subjects with TD but not those with SU (P < .001). Passively sensitized basophils suppressed with postavoidance SU plasma had a lower AUC than TD plasma (6.4% vs 38.9%, P = .03). CONCLUSIONS:Early decreases in basophil sensitivity to Ara h 2 correlate with SU. Basophil AUC rebounds after avoidance in subjects with TD. Therefore, different aspects of basophil activation might be useful for monitoring of OIT efficacy.