Occupational Asthma Reference

Jones MG, Floyd A, Nouri-Aria KT, Jacobson MR, Durham SR, Taylor AN, Cullinan P, Is occupational asthma to diisocyanates a non-IgE-mediated disease?, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2007;119:757-758,

Keywords: histology, IgE, isocyanate, challenge, mechanism

Known Authors

Paul Cullinan, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK Paul Cullinan

Tony Newman Taylor, Royal Brompton Hospital, London Tony Newman Taylor

Meinir Jones, Royal Brompton Hospital, London Meinir Jones

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Exposure to diisocyanates in the workplace is an important cause of occupational asthma. The majority of patients with diisocyanate-induced asthma have no detectable diisocyanate-specific IgE antibodies in serum. There has been much debate as to whether this is due to diisocyanate-induced asthma being mediated by non-IgE mechanisms or whether it is the result of using inappropriate conjugates.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether RNA message for Cepsilon, IL-4, and other associated inflammatory markers could be detected locally within the bronchial mucosa after diisocyanate challenge.

METHODS: Fiberoptic bronchoscopic bronchial biopsy specimens were obtained at 24 hours after both a control and an active challenge in 5 patients with positive and 7 patients with negative inhalation test responses to diisocyanates. Using both immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we determined mRNA for Cepsilon, IL-4, IL-5, and other associated inflammatory markers.

RESULTS: There was a striking absence of Cepsilon and IL-4 mRNA-positive cells in bronchial biopsy specimens from patients challenged with diisocyanate (Cepsilon median of 0 and interquartile range of 0-1.85; IL-4 median of 0 and interquartile range of 0-0.85). In contrast, there were increased numbers of IL-5-, CD25-, and CD4-positive cells and a trend toward an increase in eosinophils after active challenge with diisocyanate.

CONCLUSION: We found a striking absence of both bronchial Cepsilon and IL-4 RNA message after inhalation challenge with diisocyanates, irrespective of whether the challenge test response was positive or negative. We propose that diisocyanate-induced asthma is a non-IgE-mediated disease, at least in patients in whom specific IgE antibodies to diisocyanates are undetectable.

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