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Journal Articles

  • [An allergic response to fight against venoms]. Médecine sciences : M/S Marichal, T., Starkl, P., Metz, M., Galli, S. J. 2014; 30 (2): 127-130

    View details for DOI 10.1051/medsci/20143002004

    View details for PubMedID 24572105

  • A Beneficial Role for Immunoglobulin E in Host Defense against Honeybee Venom IMMUNITY Marichal, T., Starkl, P., Reber, L. L., Kalesnikoff, J., Oettgen, H. C., Tsai, M., Metz, M., Galli, S. J. 2013; 39 (5): 963-975


    Allergies are widely considered to be misdirected type 2 immune responses, in which immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are produced against any of a broad range of seemingly harmless antigens. However, components of insect venoms also can sensitize individuals to develop severe IgE-associated allergic reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, upon subsequent venom exposure. We found that mice injected with amounts of honeybee venom similar to that which could be delivered in one or two stings developed a specific type 2 immune response that increased their resistance to subsequent challenge with potentially lethal amounts of the venom. Our data indicate that IgE antibodies and the high affinity IgE receptor, Fc?RI, were essential for such acquired resistance to honeybee venom. The evidence that IgE-dependent immune responses against venom can enhance survival in mice supports the hypothesis that IgE, which also contributes to allergic disorders, has an important function in protection of the host against noxious substances.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.10.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000330950600017

    View details for PubMedID 24210352

  • PLA2G3 promotes mast cell maturation and function. Nature immunology Starkl, P., Marichal, T., Galli, S. J. 2013; 14 (6): 527-529

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ni.2612

    View details for PubMedID 23685814

  • Glutathione exposes sequential IgE-epitopes in ovomucoid relevant in persistent egg allergy MOLECULAR NUTRITION & FOOD RESEARCH Roth-Walter, F., Starkl, P., Zuberbier, T., Hummel, K., Noebauer, K., Razzazi-Fazeli, E., Brunner, R., Pali-Schoell, I., Kinkel, J., Felix, F., Jensen-Jarolim, E., Kinaciyan, T. 2013; 57 (3): 536-544


    Patients with persistent egg allergy have more immunoglobulin E (IgE) against sequential than conformational epitopes of ovomucoid (OVO). Here, we aimed to identify compounds capable to render sequential epitopes in egg.Glutathione was used for in vitro reduction of OVO and circular dichroism analyses were performed. Glutathione reduced OVO in a concentration-dependent manner. Egg white was analyzed for reduced proteins with a thiol probe and by MALDI-TOF/TOF. In unprocessed total egg white, several reduced proteins were detected by the thiol probe, among them reduced ovalbumin could be confirmed with MS analyses. Egg-allergics or sensitized controls were tested serologically (n = 19) for IgE against native and reduced OVO and in skin prick tests (n = 9). More patients had IgE against reduced than native OVO in Western blots. In skin prick test, five out of seven persistent egg-allergics and none of the controls reacted with reduced OVO.Reduced egg proteins are present in natural egg white. Glutathione, which is present in egg and furthermore is used as texture-improving additive in processed food, is capable of reducing OVO. Patients with persistent egg allergy reacted rather to reduce the native OVO. Hence, our data indicate that reduction is a novel natural and processing-associated principle, which contributes to the allergenicity of food.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/mnfr.201200612

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316229200017

    View details for PubMedID 23349099

  • Protamine nanoparticles with CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide prevent an allergen-induced Th2-response in BALB/c mice European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics Pali-Schoell, I., Szoelloesi, H., Starkl, P., Scheicher, B., Stremnitzer, C., Hofmeister, A., Roth-Walter, F., Lukschal, A., Diesner, S. C., Zimmer, A., Jensen-Jarolim, E. 2013
  • An unfolded variant of the major peanut allergen Ara h 2 with decreased anaphylactic potential CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ALLERGY Starkl, P., Felix, F., Krishnamurthy, D., Stremnitzer, C., Roth-Walter, F., Prickett, S. R., Voskamp, A. L., Willensdorfer, A., Szalai, K., Weichselbaumer, M., O'Hehir, R. E., Jensen-Jarolim, E. 2012; 42 (12): 1801-1812


    Peanut allergy causes severe type 1 hypersensitivity reactions and conventional immunotherapy against peanut allergy is associated with a high risk of anaphylaxis.Our current study reports proof of concept experiments on the safety of a stably denatured variant of the major peanut allergen Ara h 2 for immunotherapy. We determined the impact of structure loss of Ara h 2 on its IgE binding and basophil degranulation capacity, T cell reactivity as well as anaphylactic potential.The secondary structure of untreated and reduced/alkylated Ara h 2 variants was determined by circular dichroism spectroscopy. We addressed human patient IgE binding to Ara h 2 by ELISA and Western blot experiments. RBL-SX38 cells were used to test the degranulation induced by untreated and reduced/alkylated Ara h 2. We assessed the anaphylactic potential of Ara h 2 variants by challenge of sensitized BALB/c mice. T cell reactivity was investigated using human Ara h 2-specific T cell lines and splenocytes isolated from sensitized mice.Reduction/alkylation of Ara h 2 caused a decrease in IgE binding capacity, basophil degranulation and anaphylactic potential in vivo. However, the human T cell response to reduced/alkylated and untreated Ara h 2 was comparable. Mouse splenocytes showed higher metabolic activity upon stimulation with reduced/alkylated Ara h 2 and released similar IL-4, IL-13 and IFN? levels upon treatment with either Ara h 2 variant.Reduced/alkylated Ara h 2 might be a safer alternative than native Ara h 2 for immunotherapeutic treatment of peanut allergic patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cea.12031

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311612300014

    View details for PubMedID 23181796

  • Establishing an allergic eczema model employing recombinant house dust mite allergens Der p 1 and Der p 2 in BALB/c mice EXPERIMENTAL DERMATOLOGY Szalai, K., Kopp, T., Lukschal, A., Stremnitzer, C., Wallmann, J., Starkl, P., Vander Elst, L., Saint-Remy, J., Pali-Schoell, I., Jensen-Jarolim, E. 2012; 21 (11): 842-846


    The major house dust mite allergens Der p 1 and Der p 2 are prevalent inducers of eczema. Der p 1 is a cysteine protease disrupting epithelial barriers, whereas Der p 2 functionally mimics the LPS-binding compound MD-2 within the TLR4 complex. In this work, we tested the percutaneous sensitizing capacity of recombinant (r) Der p 1 and Der p 2 in BALB/c mice. Mice were sensitized by percutaneous application of low (10 ?g/application) and high dose (100 ?g) rDer p 1 or rDer p 2, or with rDer p 1 followed by rDer p 2. Allergen-specific and total IgE antibodies were determined by ELISA. Eczema of BALB/c was classified by the itching score and corresponded to erosions. Infiltrating immune cells were identified by haematoxylin/eosin and Giemsa staining for eosinophils or mast cells, CD3 staining for T lymphocytes. Percutaneous treatments with rDer p 1, but not rDer p 2-induced specific IgG1. However, cotreatment with rDer p 1 led to increase in anti-Der p 2 IgG titres. Both allergens elicited skin erosions because of scratching, thickening of the epidermis, and eosinophil and T-cell infiltration. Our data indicate that recombinant mite allergens in the absence of adjuvant are sufficient for inducing eczema in BALB/c mice. As the enzymatic activity of an allergen might be an important cofactor for specific sensitization via the skin, Der p 1 may act as adjuvant for other allergens too. The presented mouse model is suitable for investigating the mechanisms of allergic eczema.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/exd.12015

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310217600006

    View details for PubMedID 23163649

  • Evidence questioning cromolyn's effectiveness and selectivity as a 'mast cell stabilizer' in mice LABORATORY INVESTIGATION Oka, T., Kalesnikoff, J., Starkl, P., Tsai, M., Galli, S. J. 2012; 92 (10): 1472-1482


    Cromolyn, widely characterized as a 'mast cell stabilizer', has been used in mice to investigate the biological roles of mast cells in vivo. However, it is not clear to what extent cromolyn can either limit the function of mouse mast cells or influence biological processes in mice independently of effects on mast cells. We confirmed that cromolyn (at 10 mg/kg in vivo or 10-100 ?M in vitro) can inhibit IgE-dependent mast cell activation in rats in vivo (measuring Evans blue extravasation in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) and increases in plasma histamine in passive systemic anaphylaxis (PSA)) and in vitro (measuring peritoneal mast cell (PMC) ?-hexosaminidase release and prostaglandin D(2) synthesis). However, under the conditions tested, cromolyn did not inhibit those mast cell-dependent responses in mice. In mice, cromolyn also failed to inhibit the ear swelling or leukocyte infiltration at sites of PCA. Nor did cromolyn inhibit IgE-independent degranulation of mouse PMCs induced by various stimulators in vitro. At 100 mg/kg, a concentration 10 times higher than that which inhibited PSA in rats, cromolyn significantly inhibited the increases in plasma concentrations of mouse mast cell protease-1 (but not of histamine) during PSA, but had no effect on the reduction in body temperature in this setting. Moreover, this concentration of cromolyn (100 mg/kg) also inhibited LPS-induced TNF production in genetically mast cell-deficient C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice in vivo. These results question cromolyn's effectiveness and selectivity as an inhibitor of mast cell activation and mediator release in the mouse.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/labinvest.2012.116

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309324600009

    View details for PubMedID 22906983

  • Monitoring neutrophils and platelets during casein-induced anaphylaxis in an experimental BALB/c mouse model CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ALLERGY Krishnamurthy, D., Starkl, P., Szalai, K., Roth-Walter, F., Diesner, S. C., Mittlboeck, M., Mannhalter, C., Untersmayr, E., Jensen-Jarolim, E. 2012; 42 (7): 1119-1128


    With respect to the cellular players, mast cells and basophils have been well studied in experimental murine systemic anaphylaxis models, but the role of neutrophils and platelets is not fully understood today.We tested the hypothesis that neutrophils and platelets might participate in an antigen-induced anaphylaxis model.BALB/c mice were sensitized intraperitoneally with alum-adsorbed casein. A period of 2 weeks later, mice were challenged with 100 ?g casein intravenously and immediate hypersensitivity reactions were assessed by rectal temperature measurements and monitoring the physical activity. Subsequently, leucocytes were counted in the peripheral blood as well as quantified in situ in typical shock organs like lung, liver and spleen, heart and kidney.Mice sensitized with casein showed casein-specific IgG1, IgE, and IgG2a. When sensitized mice were specifically challenged with casein they developed immediate hypersensitivity reactions including drop of temperature and reduced activity. Furthermore, pronounced peripheral neutropenia and reduced platelet counts correlated with the severity of the hypersensitivity reactions. In the histological analyses of collected tissues we observed lung interstitial neutrophilia using Gr-1 staining. These events occurred specifically in mice sensitized and challenged with casein, in contrast to control groups.On the basis of our data we suggest that in addition to mast cells and basophils, neutrophils and platelets participate in the anaphylactic response in this BALB/c mouse model. Platelet and neutrophils expressing relevant immunoglobulin receptors may therefore have a synergistic effect with allergen specific IgE as well as IgG antibodies in food-induced anaphylaxis. We suggest that management of these cells could be of clinical importance to handle anaphylaxis.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2012.04012.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305283000017

    View details for PubMedID 22702510

  • The Sedoheptulose Kinase CARKL Directs Macrophage Polarization through Control of Glucose Metabolism CELL METABOLISM Haschemi, A., Kosma, P., Gille, L., Evans, C. R., Burant, C. F., Starkl, P., Knapp, B., Haas, R., Schmid, J. A., Jandl, C., Amir, S., Lubec, G., Park, J., Esterbauer, H., Bilban, M., Brizuela, L., Pospisilik, J. A., Otterbein, L. E., Wagner, O. 2012; 15 (6): 813-826


    Immune cells are somewhat unique in that activation responses can alter quantitative phenotypes upwards of 100,000-fold. To date little is known about the metabolic adaptations necessary to mount such dramatic phenotypic shifts. Screening for novel regulators of macrophage activation, we found nonprotein kinases of glucose metabolism among the most enriched classes of candidate immune modulators. We find that one of these, the carbohydrate kinase-like protein CARKL, is rapidly downregulated in vitro and in vivo upon LPS stimulation in both mice and humans. Interestingly, CARKL catalyzes an orphan reaction in the pentose phosphate pathway, refocusing cellular metabolism to a high-redox state upon physiological or artificial downregulation. We find that CARKL-dependent metabolic reprogramming is required for proper M1- and M2-like macrophage polarization and uncover a rate-limiting requirement for appropriate glucose flux in macrophage polarization.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.023

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305502000007

    View details for PubMedID 22682222

  • Heating Affects Structure, Enterocyte Adsorption and Signalling, As Well as Immunogenicity of the Peanut Allergen Ara h 2. Open Allergy Journal Starkl, P., Krishnamurthy, D., Szalai, K., Felix, F., Lukschal, A., Oberthuer, D., Sampson, H. A., Swoboda, I., Betzel, C., Untersmayr, E., Jensen-Jarolim, E. 2011; 4: 24-34
  • Nitration of the Egg-Allergen Ovalbumin Enhances Protein Allergenicity but Reduces the Risk for Oral Sensitization in a Murine Model of Food Allergy PLOS ONE Untersmayr, E., Diesner, S. C., Oostingh, G. J., Selzle, K., Pfaller, T., Schultz, C., Zhang, Y., Krishnamurthy, D., Starkl, P., Knittelfelder, R., Foerster-Waldl, E., Pollak, A., Scheiner, O., Poeschl, U., Jensen-Jarolim, E., Duschl, A. 2010; 5 (12)


    Nitration of proteins on tyrosine residues, which can occur due to polluted air under "summer smog" conditions, has been shown to increase the allergic potential of allergens. Since nitration of tyrosine residues is also observed during inflammatory responses, this modification could directly influence protein immunogenicity and might therefore contribute to food allergy induction. In the current study we have analyzed the impact of protein nitration on sensitization via the oral route.BALB/c mice were immunized intragastrically by feeding untreated ovalbumin (OVA), sham-nitrated ovalbumin (snOVA) or nitrated ovalbumin (nOVA) with or without concomitant acid-suppression. To analyze the impact of the sensitization route, the allergens were also injected intraperitoneally. Animals being fed OVA or snOVA under acid-suppressive medication developed significantly elevated levels of IgE, and increased titers of specific IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies. Interestingly, oral immunizations of nOVA under anti-acid treatment did not result in IgG and IgE formation. In contrast, intraperitoneal immunization induced high levels of OVA specific IgE, which were significantly increased in the group that received nOVA by injection. Furthermore, nOVA triggered significantly enhanced mediator release from RBL cells passively sensitized with sera from allergic mice. Gastric digestion experiments demonstrated protein nitration to interfere with protein stability as nOVA was easily degraded, whereas OVA and snOVA remained stable up to 120 min. Additionally, HPLC-chip-MS/MS analysis showed that one tyrosine residue (Y(107)) being very efficiently nitrated is part of an ovalbumin epitope recognized exclusively after oral sensitization.These data indicated that despite the enhanced triggering capacity in existing allergy, nitration of OVA may be associated with a reduced de novo sensitizing capability via the oral route due to enhanced protein digestibility and/or changes in antibody epitopes.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0014210

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284868000020

    View details for PubMedID 21151984

  • A granular variant of CD63 is a regulator of repeated human mast cell degranulation. Allergy Schäfer, T., Starkl, P., Allard, C., Wolf, R. M., Schweighoffer, T. 2010; 65 (10): 1242-1255


    Mast cells are secretory immune cells whose degranulation can provoke acute allergic reactions. It is presently unclear, however, whether an individual mast cell can repeatedly degranulate or turns dysfunctional after a single antigen stimulus. This work thus aims to better define the mast cell life cycle, with particular focus on new target structures for therapeutic or diagnostic approaches in allergy.Monoclonal antibodies were raised against degranulated cord blood-derived human mast cells. A subset of these antibodies that exclusively recognized degranulated mast cells, but did not cross-react with quiescent mast cells or other hematopoietic cell types, became key reagents in subsequent experiments.We identified a granular variant of tetraspanin CD63 as an exclusive molecular marker of degranulated human mast cells. Mutant analyses indicate that a cysteine cluster around residue C170 and protein glycosylation at residue N172 account for the antibody specificity. Here, we show that mast cells, which underwent an initial Fc?RI-mediated degranulation, can be degranulated for at least another cycle in vitro. Repeated degranulation, however, requires an IgE/antigen stimulus that differs from the preceding one. Furthermore, the new variant-specific anti-CD63 antibodies effectively impair repeated cycles of mast cell degranulation.Our findings indicate that mast cells are stable, multiple-use cells, which are capable of surviving and delivering several consecutive hits. Surface expression of the novel CD63 variant is a distinguishing feature of such primed cells. Reagents directed against this molecular hallmark may thus become valuable diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02350.x

    View details for PubMedID 20337613

  • The High Affinity IgE Receptor Fc epsilon RI Is Expressed by Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells PLOS ONE Untersmayr, E., Bises, G., Starkl, P., Bevins, C. L., Scheiner, O., Boltz-Nitulescu, G., Wrba, F., Jensen-Jarolim, E. 2010; 5 (2)


    IgE antibodies play a paramount role in the pathogenesis of various intestinal disorders. To gain insights in IgE-mediated pathophysiology of the gut, we investigated the expression of the high affinity IgE receptor Fc epsilonRI in human intestinal epithelium.Fc epsilonRI alpha-chain, as detected by immunohistochemistry, was positive in epithelial cells for eight of eleven (8/11) specimens from colon cancer patients and 5/11 patients with inflammation of the enteric mucosa. The Fc epsilonRIalpha positive epithelial cells co-expressed Fc epsilonRIgamma, whereas with one exception, none of the samples was positive for the beta-chain in the epithelial layer. The functionality of Fc epsilonRI was confirmed in situ by human IgE binding. In experiments with human intestinal tumor cell lines, subconfluent Caco-2/TC7 and HCT-8 cells were found to express the alpha- and gamma-chains of Fc epsilonRI and to bind IgE, whereas confluent cells were negative for gamma-chains.Our data provide the first evidence that the components of a functional Fc epsilonRI are in vitro expressed by the human intestinal epithelial cells depending on differentiation and, more importantly, in situ in epithelia of patients with colon cancer or gastrointestinal inflammations. Thus, a contribution of Fc epsilonRI either to immunosurveillance or pathophysiology of the intestinal epithelium is suggested.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0009023

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274207200018

    View details for PubMedID 20126404

  • Polymorphisms in the interleukin-1 gene cluster in children and young adults with systemic meningococcemia CLINICAL CHEMISTRY Endler, G., Marculescu, R., Starkl, P., Binder, A., Geishofer, G., Muller, M., Zohrer, B., Resch, B., Zenz, W., Mannhalter, C. 2006; 52 (3): 511-514


    An association has been described between mortality in children with meningococcal disease and functional polymorphisms in the interleukin-1 (IL1) cluster. We undertook a multicenter study to evaluate associations of these polymorphisms in a Central European population.The study involved 95 Middle European pediatric hospitals. We collected blood samples from, and clinical information about, 285 previously healthy children with meningococcal infection. We used a newly developed multiplexed mutagenic separated PCR assay to analyze 6 polymorphisms within the IL1 cluster: IL1A (-889)C/T, IL1A (+4845)G/T, IL1B (-511)C/T, IL1B (-31)C/T, IL1B (+3954), and IL1RA (+2018)C/T. We studied the same polymorphisms in a comparison group of 481 healthy newborns.Genotype frequencies between patients and the comparison group differed significantly only for the IL1RA (+2018)C/T variant: The CC genotype was more frequent in patients (11%) than in healthy controls (5%; P = 0.008). In the patient group, the C allele was significantly more prevalent (67%) in nonsurvivors than in survivors (42%; P = 0.02).The IL1RA (+2018)C/T polymorphism is associated with the risk of meningococcal disease and with its outcome.

    View details for DOI 10.1373/clinchem.2005.058537

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235674900023

    View details for PubMedID 16510430

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