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LJI Epitope Validation Center: Characterization of Epitope-specific T Cells Responding to Food, Fungal and Inner City Allergens

Sette, Alessandro
La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology
Start date
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CENTER PROGRAM SUMMARY/ABSTRACTOur proposal will use epitopes to comparatively evaluate immune responses in three different prototypicallergic diseases. We will study cockroach (CR) and mouse (MO) inhalation allergens, which are associatedwith the development of asthma in inner city children (Project 1); cow’s milk (CM), the most prevalentlyrecognized pediatric food allergen (Project 2); and Aspergillus (ASP) and Alternaria (ALT) fungal allergens,which are associated with severe forms of asthma (Project 3). The extensive scientific overlap will offeropportunities for synergies between projects. Our study extensively utilizes cohorts independently funded byNIAID, to further multiply synergies and impact of the investigations. The evolution of responses will beexamined as a function of time following natural exposure, exposure as part of work-duties and allergenimmunotherapy (AIT). We will also study and compare individuals that are exposed but remain healthy, topeople that have mild allergies and those that have severe asthma. Our hypothesis is that these distinct groupscan be distinguished on the basis of their T cell response. Specifically, different groups might recognizedifferent protein allergens or fragments (epitopes). It is also possible that the protein and genetic programscharacteristic of T cells (T cell phenotypes) seen in allergic diseases of different types and severity will beunique. Our additional hypotheses are that evolution of T cell phenotypes can give us insights into themechanism of allergic and asthmatic disease. If this were to be the case, it would have potential diagnosticvalue, and possibly suggest new therapeutic interventions.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Project source
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Project number
Natural Toxins
Chemical Contaminants