Occupational Asthma Reference

Jones M, Jeal H, Schofield S, Harris JM, Shamji MH, Francis JN, Durham SR, Cullinan P, Rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies associated with inhibition of IgE–allergen complex binding in laboratory animal workers, Occup Environ Med, 2014;71:619-623,10.1136/oemed-2014-102119
(Plain text: Jones M, Jeal H, Schofield S, Harris JM, Shamji MH, Francis JN, Durham SR, Cullinan P, Rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies associated with inhibition of IgE-allergen complex binding in laboratory animal workers, Occup Environ Med)

Keywords: laboratory animal, rat, IgE, IgG, IgG4, UK

Known Authors

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

Meinir Jones, Royal Brompton Hospital, London Meinir Jones

Jessica Harris, Royal Brompton Hospital Jessica Harris

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Abstract

Objectives
The relationship between exposure to rodent allergens and laboratory animal allergy is complex; at highest allergen exposures there is an attenuation of sensitisation and symptoms which are associated with increased levels of rat-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgG4 antibodies. We set out to examine whether the increased levels of rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies that we have previously observed at high allergen exposure in our cohort of laboratory animal workers play a functional role through blockage of the binding of IgE–allergen complex binding to CD23 receptors on B cells.

Methods
Cross-sectional survey of laboratory animal workers (n=776) in six UK pharmaceutical companies were surveyed. IgE–allergen complex binding to B cells was measured in 703 (97.9%) eligible employees; their exposure was categorised by either job group or number of rats handled daily.

Results
We observed a significant decrease in IgE–allergen complex binding to B cells with increasing quartiles of both rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies (p<0.001). IgE–allergen complex binding to B cells was lower in workers with high allergen exposure, and significantly so (p=0.033) in the subgroup with highest exposures but no work-related chest symptoms.

Conclusions
These findings demonstrate a functional role for rat-specific IgG/G4 antibodies in laboratory animal workers, similar to that observed in patients treated with high dose immunotherapy who become clinically tolerant, suggesting a potential explanation for the attenuation of risk at highest allergen exposures

Plain text: Objectives The relationship between exposure to rodent allergens and laboratory animal allergy is complex; at highest allergen exposures there is an attenuation of sensitisation and symptoms which are associated with increased levels of rat-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgG4 antibodies. We set out to examine whether the increased levels of rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies that we have previously observed at high allergen exposure in our cohort of laboratory animal workers play a functional role through blockage of the binding of IgE-allergen complex binding to CD23 receptors on B cells. Methods Cross-sectional survey of laboratory animal workers (n=776) in six UK pharmaceutical companies were surveyed. IgE-allergen complex binding to B cells was measured in 703 (97.9%) eligible employees; their exposure was categorised by either job group or number of rats handled daily. Results We observed a significant decrease in IgE-allergen complex binding to B cells with increasing quartiles of both rat-specific IgG and IgG4 antibodies (p<0.001). IgE-allergen complex binding to B cells was lower in workers with high allergen exposure, and significantly so (p=0.033) in the subgroup with highest exposures but no work-related chest symptoms. Conclusions These findings demonstrate a functional role for rat-specific IgG/G4 antibodies in laboratory animal workers, similar to that observed in patients treated with high dose immunotherapy who become clinically tolerant, suggesting a potential explanation for the attenuation of risk at highest allergen exposures

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Comments

Results from a cross-sectional study of laboratory animal workers exposed to rats showed that IgG and IgG4 antibodies to rat urinary protein reduced specific IgE binding to B cells, perhaps explaining the U shaped dose-response curve seen in cross-sectional studies, where those with the highest exposures have relatively less disease.
9/5/2014

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