A very, very, very, very, very, very, etc., small amount.

Posted on: Mon, 03/24/2003 - 3:40pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00


Disclaimer: I do not guarantee the accuracy or content of the link in this post.

Posted on: Tue, 03/25/2003 - 1:29am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Maybe I can clarify for y'all:
This link explains in part why pn proteins (one of them, anyway [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) are so different than other allergenic proteins- that is, why they are so efficient at eliciting severe allergic responses. The link describes the structural conformation of the protein as having a nearly perfect size and shape to interact with IgE (you know, the Y-shaped antibodies which PA people have in their bloodstream) for the protein... and that the fact that it has three identical sections exactly 50A apart means that once a single part of the protein has interacted with one side of the IgE, it is almost a guarantee that the other "side" of the IgE will successfully attach to the protein and be able to interact with a mast cell receptor. The 50 angstrom distance holds the other parts of the protein in exactly the right way to cause additional interaction is the gist of the linked page.
(For those who are curious, this is called the "chelate effect" (Kee-Late) in chemistry circles, and it increases interactions by 5x to 10x quite often.) This is a lovely explanation of why amounts of PN protein can be an order of magnitude smaller than, say, egg protein and yet still elicit severe reactions in the allergic.
Hope this helps! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 03/25/2003 - 3:45am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00


Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 2:42pm
teacher's picture
Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

I am NOT scientifically-minded whatsoever, so maybe this is a crazy question, but I'll ask anyway.
Doesn't the answer to these problems, then, lie in either changing the peanut protein or changing your IgE?? Is there some way to do one or the other? Or both?

Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 3:13pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Could be an approach... IgE isn't a realistic "target" this way because the immune system is somehow programmed by sensitization to make IgE a certain way... any way of effecting this mechanism is likely to have serious immune effects in treated persons (probably not so good).
As far as modification of pn proteins, this is an area of current research. Two big problems.
1. The Ara h1 protein noted in the link above is only one of at least six identified allergenic proteins in the peanut, so you might have to modify several different proteins.
2. Without belaboring the point too much, this is genetic engineering. General public isn't even comfortable with the irradiation of meat products, so it isn't too likely that the average pn eating consumer is going to be real happy to sign their kids up for this.

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 10:16pm
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Corvallis Mom,
Maybe you know the answer to this question:
Doctor's talk about a developing immune system. Does that mean that the immune system is more sensitive in babies and small children? It seems like it is constantly developing and changing your whole life, so I don't quite understand the difference between an adult and a child.

Posted on: Sun, 03/30/2003 - 9:15am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

river, I am not sure that physicians really know for sure either- I [i]think[/i] this theory is empirically based more than anything else. Obviously, anyone can develop allergies of any kind at any point in one's life, but there are some particularly vulnerable times too. (Pregnancy and post-partum for atopic women, for example.) This seems to be especially true for people with atopic genes- during the first 2-5 years of life, the immune system is still learning how to respond to the world, and it is more likely to learn an inappropriate response to pretty much anything it encounters. Once this learning period is over with, the immune system becomes less "plastic"- that is, it seems to remember what to respond to and what not to respond to, and this is why children who catch communicable diseases as very young infants can often catch the illnesses again in later, even though most people's immune systems "remember" them later. (I hope that made sense!) It is also why a lot of our allergists regard the age of 3 (or 4 or 5 [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) as "magical" because children frequently outgrow allergies by about that age (or develop new ones around then [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ) What you see allergy-wise beyond that period tends to be lifelong. (So the percentage of allergic children at 8-10 years old is very similar to the adult population, though it is around half what it is in toddlers.)
It seems that non-atopic children do this "maturing" more rapidly than highly atopic ones...
Remember, this is based on observation, inference, and reading- it isn't medical advice by any means!!
What this also means for me *personally* (aside from the obvious conclusion that atopic families really really ought to be cautioned about allergy triggers) is that I don't pay a lot of attention to the comfort zone of anyone who hasn't had any allergic responses since those preschool years... I have to wonder if they haven't merely been careful and lucky so much as they have actually outgrown the allergy and don't know it. Lots of people don't bother retesting so they might not know. (JMO.) I hope this doesn't offend anyone- it is only my opinion.

Posted on: Sun, 02/15/2004 - 12:00pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00


Posted on: Mon, 02/16/2004 - 3:32pm
nikky's picture
Joined: 11/14/2000 - 09:00

Thanks for raising MB. This was very interesting!

Posted on: Mon, 04/12/2004 - 9:21pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
1. The Ara h1 protein noted in the link above is only one of at least six identified allergenic proteins in the peanut, so you might have to modify several different proteins.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'd like to know more about this protein as well as the others.

Posted on: Tue, 04/13/2004 - 9:25am
PeteFerraro's picture
Joined: 07/10/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]isn't a realistic "target" this way because the immune system is somehow programmed by sensitization to make IgE a certain way... any way of effecting this mechanism is likely to have serious immune effects in treated persons (probably not so good).
Are you implying that drugs like Xolair may not be a good idea?
Pete Ferraro


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