The role of virus-specific immunoglobulin E in airway hyperresponsiveness

Azzeddine Dakhama, Jung Won Park, Christian Taube, Kosuke Chayama, Annette Balhorn, Anthony Joetham, Xu Dong Wei, Rhi Hua Fan, Christina Swasey, Nobuaki Miyahara, Taku Kodama, Alberto Alvarez, Katsuyuki Takeda, Erwin W. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis during infancy and is associated with subsequent wheezing and asthma, but the nature of this association is not fully understood. We investigated the role of RSV-specific IgE antibodies in the pathophysiology of virus-induced airway dysfunction in a mouse model. Lung infection with RSV resulted in significant increases in mRNA expression for IgE and both of its high- and low-affinity receptors. In serum, virus-specific IgE antibodies reached peak levels by Day 21 after infection. Data from in vitro experiments show that RSV can induce mast cell degranulation, but only if these cells are sensitized with specific IgE. When passively sensitized in vivo with virus-specific IgE, mice developed exaggerated airway responsiveness to methacholine on airway infection, an effect that required the high-affinity receptor of IgE. These data suggest that RSV-specific IgE may contribute to the pathophysiology of airway dysfunction in children who develop this class of specific antibody.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-959
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway function
  • Animal model
  • Asthma
  • IgE
  • Respiratory syncytial virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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