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1.  The protein structure determines the sensitizing capacity of Brazil nut 2S albumin (Ber e1) in a rat food allergy model 
It is not exactly known why certain food proteins are more likely to sensitize. One of the characteristics of most food allergens is that they are stable to the acidic and proteolytic conditions in the digestive tract. This property is thought to be a risk factor in allergic sensitization. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the contribution of the protein structure of 2S albumin (Ber e1), a major allergen from Brazil nut, on the sensitizing capacity in vivo using an oral Brown Norway rat food allergy model. Disulphide bridges of 2S albumin were reduced and alkylated resulting in loss of protein structure and an increased pepsin digestibility in vitro. Both native 2S albumin and reduced/alkylated 2S albumin were administered by daily gavage dosing (0.1 and 1 mg) to Brown Norway rats for 42 days. Intraperitoneal administration was used as a positive control. Sera were analysed by ELISA and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. Oral exposure to native or reduced/alkylated 2S albumin resulted in specific IgG1 and IgG2a responses whereas only native 2S albumin induced specific IgE in this model, which was confirmed by passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. This study has shown that the disruption of the protein structure of Brazil nut 2S albumin decreased the sensitizing potential in a Brown Norway rat food allergy model, whereas the immunogenicity of 2S albumin remained preserved. This observation may open possibilities for developing immunotherapy for Brazil nut allergy.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-36
PMCID: PMC3827886  PMID: 24180644
Brazil nut 2S albumin; Ber e1; Food allergen; Rats; Reduction; Alkylation; Allergenicity; Immunogenicity
2.  Novel self-epitopes derived from aggrecan, fibrillin, and matrix metalloproteinase-3 drive distinct autoreactive T-cell responses in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and in health 
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation. Knowing which antigens drive the autoreactive T-cell response in JIA is crucial for the understanding of disease pathogenesis and additionally may provide targets for antigen-specific immune therapy. In this study, we tested 9 self-peptides derived from joint-related autoantigens for T-cell recognition (T-cell proliferative responses and cytokine production) in 36 JIA patients and 15 healthy controls. Positive T-cell proliferative responses (stimulation index ≥2) to one or more peptides were detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 69% of JIA patients irrespective of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotype. The peptides derived from aggrecan, fibrillin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 yielded the highest frequency of T-cell proliferative responses in JIA patients. In both the oligoarticular and polyarticular subtypes of JIA, the aggrecan peptide induced T-cell proliferative responses that were inversely related with disease duration. The fibrillin peptide, to our knowledge, is the first identified autoantigen that is primarily recognized in polyarticular JIA patients. Finally, the epitope derived from MMP-3 elicited immune responses in both subtypes of JIA and in healthy controls. Cytokine production in short-term peptide-specific T-cell lines revealed production of interferon-γ (aggrecan/MMP-3) and interleukin (IL)-17 (aggrecan) and inhibition of IL-10 production (aggrecan). Here, we have identified a triplet of self-epitopes, each with distinct patterns of T-cell recognition in JIA patients. Additional experiments need to be performed to explore their qualities and role in disease pathogenesis in further detail.
doi:10.1186/ar2088
PMCID: PMC1794523  PMID: 17129378
3.  Successful immunotherapy with matrix metalloproteinase-derived peptides in adjuvant arthritis depends on the timing of peptide administration 
Arthritis Research  2002;4(4):R2.
We have recently found that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are targets for T-cell and B-cell reactivity in experimental arthritis. In the present article, we investigate whether modulation of MMP-specific T-cell responses could influence the course of adjuvant arthritis (AA). Lewis rats were treated nasally with MMP peptides prior to or after AA induction. Administration of the MMP-10 or the MMP-16 peptide prior to AA induction reduced the arthritic symptoms. In contrast, administration of the MMP-10 peptide after AA induction aggravated the arthritic symptoms. The present study shows the possible usefulness of MMP peptides for immunotherapy. However, a clear understanding of proper timing of peptide administration is crucial for the development of such therapies.
doi:10.1186/ar421
PMCID: PMC125294  PMID: 12106501
adjuvant arthritis; immunotherapy; matrix metalloproteinase; nasal treatment; peptides

Results 1-3 (3)