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Size distribution of allergenic Cry j 2 released from airborne Cryptomeria japonica pollen grains during the pollen scattering seasons


Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) pollinosis is one of seasonal allergic rhinitis that mainly occurs in Japan. The pollinosis is caused by two main kinds of allergenic proteins called Cry j 1 and Cry j 2 which exist in Cryptomeria japonica pollen. In our previous study, we reported that the size-segregated of airborne fine allergenic Cry j 1 and morphological change of Cry j 1 due to the contact with rainfall. However, the study on airborne allergenic Cry j 2 in different particle sizes has not been identified until now. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to investigate the size distribution and scattering behavior of allergenic Cry j 2. The Cry j 2 particles were collected and determined in different particle sizes at the urban sampling points during the most severe pollination season of 2012 in Saitama, Japan. After the size-segregated Cry j 2 allergenic particles were collected using an Andersen high-volume (AHV) atmospheric sample, the airborne Cry j 2 concentrations were determined with a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) method. At the same time, the airborne Cryptomeria japonica pollens were also counted by the Durham pollen sampler. The higher concentrations of the allergenic Cry j 2 were detected even in particle sizes equal to or less than 1.1 μm (PM1.1) than other particle sizes. The airborne particles ranges from 0.06 to 11 μm were also collected by a low-pressure impactor (LPI) atmospheric sampler. After that, the concentrations of Cry j 2 allergenic particles in fine particle sizes were measured by the SPR method either. With the help of this study, we have confirmed the existence of fine daughter allergenic particles, which clearly differ from the parent pollen grains in size, especially after the rainy days. It is possible that the daughter allergenic species will be released from the fractions of cell wall and burst pollen grains. We concluded that rainwater was one of the important factors that affects the release of pollen allergenic proteins of both Cry j 1 and Cry j 2 from the parent pollen grains.

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Some works of this study are supported by the Special Funds for Basic Research (B) (No. 17310031, FY2005-FY2007) and Innovative Area Research (No. 20120015, FY 2008-FY2013) of Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the FY2007-FY2008 Research project of Innovative Research Organization, Saitama University, Japan, and Steel Foundation for Environmental Protection Technology of Japan (No. C-33, FY 2015). We also acknowledge the support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC Grant No. 21477073).

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Correspondence to Xiumin Gong or Qingyue Wang.

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Gong, X., Wang, Q., Lu, S. et al. Size distribution of allergenic Cry j 2 released from airborne Cryptomeria japonica pollen grains during the pollen scattering seasons. Aerobiologia 33, 59–69 (2017).

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  • Japanese cedar pollinosis
  • Cryptomeria japonica pollen
  • Size-segregated allergenic species
  • Surface plasmon resonance (SPR)