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Original Article


Cupressus arizonica Pollen: A New Pollen Involved in the Lipid Transfer Protein Syndrome?


J Sánchez-López,1,2 JA Asturias,3 E Enrique,4 M Suárez-Cervera,5 J Bartra1,2

1Allergy Unit, Pneumology and Respiratory Allergy Department, Thorax Institute, Hospital Clinic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2Center for Biomedical Investigation in Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES), Spain
3R&D Department, Bial-Arístegui, Bilbao, Spain
4Allergy Division, Hospital General de Castellón, Castellón, Spain
5Department of Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2011; Vol. 21(7): 522-526



Background: Lipid transfer proteins (LTP) are responsible for systemic manifestations in food allergy. Their relationship with pollinosis is not clear. In our area, many patients allergic to multiple LTP-containing foods present pollinosis due to Cupressus arizonica.

Methods: We selected 6 patients with cypress pollinosis and food allergy to peach. Skin prick tests (SPT) were performed for pollens (grass, cypress, wall pellitory, plane tree, and olive tree) and plant foods (hazelnut, kiwifruit, peach peel, maize, wheat, peanut, lettuce, apple, mustard, and melon). In vitro assays included specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E to C arizonica and peach LTP (Pru p 3), enzyme allergosorbent test (EAST) inhibition, immunoblotting, immunoblotting-inhibition, and immunocytochemical techniques for the detection of Pru p 3–like LTP in cypress pollen grains.

Results: SPT were positive for C arizonica, peach, lettuce, mustard, and hazelnut in all patients. Specifi c IgE to C arizonica and Pru p 3 was positive in all but 1 patient, whose Pru p 3 IgE was negative. Immunoblotting under nonreducing conditions with C arizonica extract and patients’ sera showed a band at 14-15 kDa that was inhibited by Pru p 3. Pru p 3 partially inhibited the C arizonica pollen extract in EASTinhibition. Pru p 3–like LTP was localized in the cytoplasm and walls of C arizonica pollen grains.

Conclusion: A 15-kDa allergen in C arizonica pollen was found in a group of patients presenting peach allergy and respiratory symptoms to cypress. In vitro tests and immunocytochemical techniques indicate that this protein is an LTP.

Key words: Cypress pollen. Food allergy. Lipid transfer protein. Pollinosis. Pru p 3..