Clonal analysis of the atopic immune response to the group 2 allergen of dermatophagoides spp. Identification of HLA-DR and -DQ restricted T cell epitopes

Adrienne Verhoef, Julie A. Higgins, Christopher J. Thorpe, Steven G.E. Marsh, John D. Hayball, Jonathan R. Lamb, Robyn E. O'hehir

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The group 2 allergens of Dermatophagoides spp. (house dust mite, HDM) are a major immunological target for IgE antibodies in the allergic immune response of HDM atopic individuals. In this report the heterogeneity of the T cell repertoire reactive with the group 2 allergen of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 2) of a HDM allergic individual was investigated using overlapping synthetic peptides. By clonal analysis four distinct T cell epitopes were identified, located within residues 16-31, 22-40, 82-100, and 111-129. The importance of these epitopes was confirmed by investigation of the peripheral T cell repertoire, with the polyclonal T cell response to Der p 2 falling to show marked variations in epitope specificity over time. Serological inhibition studies and the use of Epstein-Barr virus transformed B cell lines characterized for their expression of HLA-D region gene products demonstrated that recognition of peptides 16-31 and 111-129 was restricted by HLA-DQ (DQB1*0301), whereas peptide 82-100 is recognized in association with HLA-DR (DRB1*1101). Peptide 22-40 was presented by both HLA-DRB1*1101 and -DQB1*0301 class II molecules. The potential application of these findings lies in the design of peptide-based immunotherapeutics for the management of HDM allergic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1597
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • DQ restriction
  • DR restriction
  • HLA class II
  • House dust mite
  • T cell recognition

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