, Volume 26, Issue 4–5, pp 230–236 | Cite as

Immune responsiveness to Ambrosia artemishfolia (short ragweed) pollen allergen Amb a VI (Ra6) is associated with HLA-DR5 in allergic humans

  • David G. Marsh
  • Linda R. Freidhoff
  • Eva Ehrlich-Kautzky
  • Wilma B. Bias
  • Marianne Roebber


The relationship between HLA type and specific immune responsiveness toward ultrapure Ambrosia artemisiifolia (short ragweed) pollen allergen Amb a VI (Ra6) was explored in a genetic-epidemiologic study of groups of 116 and 81 Caucasoid subjects who were skin-test \ positive (ST) toward common environmental allergens. Specific immune responsiveness to Amb a VI was assessed by measuring serum IgE and IgG antibodies (Abs) by double Ab radioimmunoassay in both ST groups. Significant associations were found between IgE Ab responsiveness to Amb a VI and the possession of HLA-DR5; P values for the two groups were, respectively, 7 × 10−7 and 1 × 10−3 by nonparametric analyses, and 4 × 10−11 and 5 × 10−8 by parametric analyses. The levels of significance for the associations between HLA-DR5 and IgG Ab responsiveness were highly dependent on the extent of ragweed immunotherapy (Rx) within the patient group; by parametric statistics, the associations were 10−11 for the group that had received relatively little Rx and 2 × 10−3 for the group that had received more intensive Rx. These results provide further striking evidence for the existence of specific HLA-linked human Ir genes involved in responsiveness toward inhaled allergens and illustrate the usefulness of the allergy model in studies of the genetic basis of human immune responsiveness. Extension of these studies to investigation of structure-function relationships involved in antigen recognition by Ia molecules and the T-cell receptor will lead to a better understanding of human susceptibility toward immunologic diseases.


Specific Immune Responsiveness Pollen Allergen Antigen Recognition Immunologic Disease Environmental Allergen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations used in this paper



Amb a VI

Amb a V, new IUIS nomenclature for Ambrosia artemisiifolia pollen allergens nos. 6 and 5 (short ragweed Ra6 and Ra5) (Marsh et al. 1986b)

Lol p II, III

new IUIS nomenclature for Lolium perenne pollen allergens II and III (perennial rye grass, Rye II and Rye III) (Marsh et al. 1986b)


borate-buffered physiologic saline


bovine serum albumin


double-antibody radioimunoassay




polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


radioimmunosorbent test




sodium dodecyl sulfate


skin test


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. Marsh
    • 1
  • Linda R. Freidhoff
    • 1
  • Eva Ehrlich-Kautzky
    • 1
  • Wilma B. Bias
    • 1
  • Marianne Roebber
    • 1
  1. 1.Divisions of Clinical Immunology and Medical Genetics, Department of MedicineJohns Hopkins University School of Medicine at The Good Samaritan HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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