Basophil Activation to Gluten and Non-Gluten Proteins in Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis

Angelika Miriam Gabler, Julia Gebhard, Marie Christin Norwig, Bernadette Eberlein, Tilo Biedermann, Knut Brockow, Katharina Anne Scherf

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6 Scopus citations


Wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA) is a cofactor-induced wheat allergy. Gluten proteins, especially ω5-gliadins, are known as major allergens, but partially hydrolyzed wheat proteins (HWPs) also play a role. Our study investigated the link between the molecular composition of gluten or HWP and allergenicity. Saline extracts of gluten (G), gluten with reduced content of ω5-gliadins (G-ω5), slightly treated HWPs (sHWPs), and extensively treated HWPs (eHWPs) were prepared as allergen test solutions and their allergenicity assessed using the skin prick test and basophil activation test (BAT) on twelve patients with WDEIA and ten controls. Complementary sodium dodecyl-sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and mass spectrometry (MS) analyses revealed that non-gluten proteins, mainly α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), were predominant in the allergen test solutions of G, G-ω5, and sHWPs. Only eHWPs contained gliadins and glutenins as major fraction. All allergen test solutions induced significantly higher %CD63+ basophils/anti-FcεRI ratios in patients compared with controls. BAT using sHWPs yielded 100% sensitivity and 83% specificity at optimal cut-off and may be useful as another tool in WDEIA diagnosis. Our findings indicate that non-gluten proteins carrying yet unidentified allergenic epitopes appear to be relevant in WDEIA. Further research is needed to clarify the role of nutritional ATIs in WDEIA and identify specific mechanisms of immune activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number822554
JournalFrontiers in Allergy
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • allergy
  • amylase/trypsin inhibitor
  • basophil activation test
  • gluten
  • proteomics
  • wheat


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