Changes in intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels in peripheral blood leukocytes during immunotherapy with vespid venom

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The allergen-induced release of mediators from basophils is known to be decreased after rush venom immunotherapy (VIT) compared with pretreatment values. A rise in the intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) level is known to inhibit mediator release.


To determine changes in cAMP levels in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) during rush VIT and to evaluate their relation to allergen-specific reactivity of basophils.


Ten patients allergic to vespid venom (VV) were investigated before rush VIT and after reaching the maintenance dose. Five VV-allergic patients not undergoing VIT served as controls. Patients' PBLs were incubated with VV, and allergen-induced histamine and leukotriene release from basophils was measured. Levels of cAMP were determined in PBLs and in plasma.


Immediately after rush VIT, VV-induced histamine release (P = .04) and VV-induced leukotriene release (P = .01) were significantly reduced. Intracellular cAMP levels increased significantly (P = .047). However, 6 months after VIT, mediator responses in basophils were comparable with pre-VIT values. No significant changes were found in the control group.


An increase in intracellular cAMP levels might account for the decreased reactivity of basophils to allergen after 1 week of VIT. However, similar to the decreased mediator release after 1 week of VIT, this is not a long-term effect as values returned to baseline after 6 months.

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