Author(s): Beyer K, Castro R, Feidel C, Sampson HA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Two forms of IgE-mediated skin reactions, atopic dermatitis (AD) and urticaria, have been associated with milk allergy. The reason for these distinct reactions is poorly understood. T cells expressing cutaneous lymphocyte antigen (CLA), a unique skin-homing receptor, are known to play an important role in AD. In contrast, the role of lymphocytes in patients with milk-induced urticaria is unclear. OBJECTIVE: The expression of the skin-specific homing receptor CLA after in vitro milk protein-specific stimulation was investigated to determine whether T-lymphocyte homing to the skin plays a role in food-induced urticaria. METHODS: Fourteen patients with milk-induced urticaria but no evidence of AD were included in the study and compared with 6 children with milk-induced AD, 6 children with milk-induced gastrointestinal diseases, and 6 nonatopic and 6 atopic individuals without milk allergy. PBMCs were cultured in the presence or absence of caseins or tetanus toxoid. T-cell proliferation was determined, and T-cell phenotyping was performed by means of flow cytometry with anti-CD4, anti-CD8, and anti-CLA mAbs. RESULTS: After in vitro stimulation with caseins, PBMCs from patients with milk-induced urticaria and AD had a significantly greater percentage of CD4(+) T cells expressing CLA than patients with milk-induced gastrointestinal symptoms and atopic or nonatopic control subjects. After tetanus stimulation in vitro, no significant difference between the groups was observed. T cells from both patients with milk-induced urticaria and control subjects proliferated well in response to caseins and tetanus. CONCLUSION: Lymphocytes expressing CLA are selectively activated in patients with milk-induced urticaria and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this disease. Expression of CLA is not unique to milk-induced inflammation in the skin of patients with AD and milk allergy.
This article was published in J Allergy Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials