Allergens from the pollen of Parthenium hystrrophorus (American feverfew), responsible for high incidence of allergic rhinitis, were found by immunoprint analysis to be localized on the surface of the pollen grains. The allergens were released very rapidly when extracted in vitro. The allergenic activity of the rapid (10 s) and slowly (20 h) released pollen proteins was comparable by in vivo skin test and ELISA inhibition assay. The isoelectric focusing patterns of the rapid and slowly released proteins were also identical. SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis revealed that all the major pollen allergens with molecular weight 14, 28, 31, 37 and 45 kDa were eluted within 10s of extraction. Periodate-Schiff staining showed that the 28,31 and 45 kDa components of the pollen extract are glycoproteins. The pollen allergens released after different periods of extraction lost 75% of IgE binding activity when subjected to in situ sodium m-periodate oxidation under controlled conditions, while 80% of the allergenic activity was still retained after extensive proteolysis. Our results support the clinical observation of a rapid onset of symptoms of allergic rhinitis in patients sensitive to Parthenium pollen, mediated predominantly by glycoproteins.
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- Parthenium hysterophorus