Characterization of ovomucoid-specific T-cell lines and clones from egg-allergic subjects

Philippe A. Eigenmann, Shau Ku Huang, Hugh A. Sampson

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30 Citations (Scopus)


In the pathogenesis of allergic reactions, T cells and cytokines play a major role. However, characterizations of food allergen-specific T cells are very limited. In this study, we screened the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 14 patients for reactivity to ovomucoid (Gal d I), the major hen's egg allergen, and ovalbumin (Gal d II). Cell lines and clones specific to ovomucoid were generated from PBMC of four egg-allergic subjects, in order to study antigen domain specificity and cell cytokine production profiles. The results demonstrated, firstly, that egg-allergic patients respond to ovomucoid rather than to ovalbumin, and, secondly, that antigen specificity is predominantly directed toward the second and third domains of ovomucoid. The T-cell cytokine message was characterized by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Cell lines and clones from all four patients consistently expressed interleukin (IL)-5. IL-4, IL-13, and interferon-gamma were found to be expressed only by certain lines or clones. This observation suggests a central pathogenic role for IL-5 in food allergy-related symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigenic determinants
  • Cytokines
  • Food hypersensitivity
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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