Early-life cockroach allergen and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposures predict cockroach sensitization among inner-city children
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Sensitization to cockroach is one of the strongest identified risk factors for greater asthma morbidity in low-income urban communities; however, the timing of exposures relevant to the development of sensitization has not been elucidated fully. Furthermore, exposure to combustion byproducts, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), can augment the development of allergic sensitization. OBJECTIVE: We sought to test the hypotheses that domestic cockroach allergen measured prenatally would predict cockroach sensitization in early childhood and that this association would be greater for children exposed to higher PAH concentrations. METHODS: Dominican and African American pregnant women living in New York City were enrolled. In the third trimester expectant mothers wore personal air samplers for measurement of 8 nonvolatile PAHs and the semivolatile PAH pyrene, and dust was collected from homes for allergen measurement. Glutathione-S-transferase μ 1 (GSTM1) gene polymorphisms were measured in children. Allergen-specific IgE levels were measured from the children at ages 2, 3, 5, and 7 years. RESULTS: Bla g 2 in prenatal kitchen dust predicted cockroach sensitization at the ages of 5 to 7 years (adjusted relative risk [RR], 1.15; P = .001; n = 349). The association was observed only among children with greater than (RR, 1.22; P = .001) but not less than (RR, 1.07; P = .24) the median sum of 8 nonvolatile PAH levels. The association was most pronounced among children with higher PAH levels and null for the GSTM1 gene (RR, 1.54; P = .001). CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal exposure to cockroach allergen was associated with a greater risk of allergic sensitization. This risk was increased by exposure to nonvolatile PAHs, with children null for the GSTM1 mutation particularly vulnerable.
- Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 02/2013; 131(2):AB16. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2012.12.734 · 11.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sensitization to cockroach allergens is a major risk factor for asthma. The cockroach allergen Bla g 1 has multiple repeats of approximately 100 amino acids, but the fold of the protein and its biological function are unknown. We sought to determine the structure of Bla g 1, investigate the implications for allergic disease, and standardize cockroach exposure assays. nBla g 1 and recombinant constructs were compared by using ELISA with specific murine IgG and human IgE. The structure of Bla g 1 was determined by x-ray crystallography. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were used to examine the ligand-binding properties of the allergen. The structure of an rBla g 1 construct with comparable IgE and IgG reactivity to the natural allergen was solved by x-ray crystallography. The Bla g 1 repeat forms a novel fold with 6 helices. Two repeats encapsulate a large and nearly spherical hydrophobic cavity, defining the basic structural unit. Lipids in the cavity varied depending on the allergen origin. Palmitic, oleic, and stearic acids were associated with nBla g 1 from cockroach frass. One unit of Bla g 1 was equivalent to 104 ng of allergen. Bla g 1 has a novel fold with a capacity to bind various lipids, which suggests a digestive function associated with nonspecific transport of lipid molecules in cockroaches. Defining the basic structural unit of Bla g 1 facilitates the standardization of assays in absolute units for the assessment of environmental allergen exposure.The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 07/2013; 132(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.06.014 · 11.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cockroach allergy is an important health problem associated with the development of asthma, as a consequence of chronic exposure to low levels of allergens in susceptible individuals. In the last 20 years, progress in understanding the disease has been possible, thanks to the identification and molecular cloning of cockroach allergens and their expression as recombinant proteins. Assays for assessment of environmental exposure to cockroach have been developed and used to measure Bla g 1 and Bla g 2, as markers of cockroach exposure. IgE antibodies to cockroach extracts and to specific purified allergens were measured to assess sensitization and analyze association with exposure and disease. With the development of the field of structural biology and the expression of recombinant cockroach allergens, insights into allergen structure, function, epitope mapping and allergen-antibody interactions have provided further understanding of mechanisms of cockroach allergic disease at the molecular level. This information will contribute to develop new approaches to allergen avoidance and to improve diagnosis and therapy of cockroach allergy.Methods 08/2013; 66(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.07.036 · 3.22 Impact Factor