Adoptive Cell Therapy in Mice Sensitized to a Grass Pollen Allergen

Anna Marianne Weijler, Lisa Prickler, Verena Kainz, Eva Bergmann, Barbara Bohle, Heinz Regele, Rudolf Valenta, Birgit Linhart, Thomas Wekerle

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


The proportion of patients with type I allergy in the world population has been increasing and with it the number of people suffering from allergic symptoms. Recently we showed that prophylactic cell therapy employing allergen-expressing bone marrow (BM) cells or splenic B cells induced allergen-specific tolerance in naïve mice. Here we investigated if cell therapy can modulate an established secondary allergen-specific immune response in pre-immunized mice. We sensitized mice against the grass pollen allergen Phl p 5 and an unrelated control allergen, Bet v 1, from birch pollen before the transfer of Phl p 5-expressing BM cells. Mice were conditioned with several combinations of low-dose irradiation, costimulation blockade, rapamycin and T cell-depleting anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG). Levels of allergen-specific IgE and IgG1 in serum after cell transfer were measured via ELISA and alterations in cellular responses were measured via an in vitro proliferation assay and transplantation of Phl p 5+ skin grafts. None of the tested treatment protocols impacted Phl p 5-specific antibody levels. Transient low-level chimerism of Phl p 5+ leukocytes as well as a markedly prolonged skin graft survival were observed in mice conditioned with high numbers of Phl p 5+ BMC or no sensitization events between the day of cell therapy and skin grafting. The data presented herein demonstrate that a pre-existing secondary allergen-specific immune response poses a substantial hurdle opposing tolerization through cell therapy and underscore the importance of prophylactic approaches for the prevention of IgE-mediated allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2024


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