Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 190–204 | Cite as

Development of a new, more sensitive immunoassay for human tryptase: Use in systemic anaphylaxis

  • Lawrence B. Schwartz
  • Timothy R. Bradford
  • Cheryl Rouse
  • Anne-Marie Irani
  • Gerd Rasp
  • J. K. Van Der Zwan
  • Peter-Willem G. Van Der Linden
Original Articles


Tryptase, a neutral protease, is selectively concentrated in the secretory granules of human mast cells, and its release into the circulation serves as a clinical marker of mast cell activation. The current study describes a new, more sensitive ELISA utilizing a newly developed, mouse monoclonal IgG1 antibody for capture called B12 and capable of detecting tryptase in normal plasma and serum. The greater sensitivity of the new immunoassay results in part from a greater portion of tryptase being detected. Mean levels of tryptase in serum from normal subjects from Richmond, Virginia (4.9 ng/ml;n=56), Munich, Germany (3.8 ng/ml;n=19), and Amersfoort, The Netherlands (1.9 ng/ml;n=8) were as indicated. In 62 subjects with ongoing allergic rhinitis, tryptase levels were no different in serum than for 19 normal controls, indicating that local mast cell activation is not necessarily reflected in the circulation. In 61 subjects sensitive to honey bee or yellow jacket venom by history, the 17 destined to have a severe, hypotensive response to a sting challenge had higher levels of tryptase at baseline than mild reactors, nonreactors, and controls, suggesting that baseline levels of tryptase may predict the severity of the clinical response to allergen in sensitive subjects.

Key words

Tryptase mast cell anaphylaxis allergic rhinitis Hymenoptera sting allergy 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence B. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Timothy R. Bradford
    • 1
  • Cheryl Rouse
    • 1
  • Anne-Marie Irani
    • 2
  • Gerd Rasp
    • 3
  • J. K. Van Der Zwan
    • 4
  • Peter-Willem G. Van Der Linden
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond
  3. 3.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMunichFederal Republic of Germany
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Departments of Internal Medicine and Clinical ChemistryLichtenberg HospitalAmersfoortThe Netherlands

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