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Hausmann O.V.,University of Bern | Seitz M.,University of Bern | Villiger P.M.,University of Bern | Pichler W.J.,University of Bern | Pichler W.J.,ADR AC GmbH
Medical Clinics of North America | Year: 2010

Biologicals are proteins used as drugs. Biologicals target clearly defined molecular structures, being part of established pathogenetic pathways. Therefore, their focused mode of action seems to render them superior to classic small molecular drugs regarding "off-target" adverse drug reactions (ADR). Nevertheless, the increasing use of biologicals for the treatment of different diseases has revealed partially unexpected adverse reactions. The often direct interaction of a biological with the immune system provides a clue to most side effects, which have consequently been subclassified, based on pathogenetic principles, into 5 subtypes named α, β, γ, δ, and ε{lunate}, reflecting overstimulation (high cytokine values, type α), hypersensitivity (type β), immune deviation (including immunodeficiency, type γ), cross-reactivity (type δ), and nonimmune mediated side effects (type ε{lunate}). This article presents typical clinical manifestations of these subtypes of ADR to biologicals, proposes general rules for treating them, and provides a scheme for a thorough allergological workup. This approach should help in future handling of these often very efficient drugs. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wheatley L.M.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Plaut M.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Schwaninger J.M.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Banerji A.,Massachusetts General Hospital | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Allergic reactions to drugs are a serious public health concern. In 2013, the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored a workshop on drug allergy. International experts in the field of drug allergy with backgrounds in allergy, immunology, infectious diseases, dermatology, clinical pharmacology, and pharmacogenomics discussed the current state of drug allergy research. These experts were joined by representatives from several National Institutes of Health institutes and the US Food and Drug Administration. The participants identified important advances that make new research directions feasible and made suggestions for research priorities and for development of infrastructure to advance our knowledge of the mechanisms, diagnosis, management, and prevention of drug allergy. The workshop summary and recommendations are presented herein.

Pichler W.J.,ADR AC GmbH | Adam J.,ADR AC GmbH | Watkins S.,Oregon State University | Wuillemin N.,University of Bern | And 2 more authors.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology | Year: 2015

Small chemicals like drugs tend to bind to proteins via noncovalent bonds, e.g. hydrogen bonds, salt bridges or electrostatic interactions. Some chemicals interact with other molecules than the actual target ligand, representing so-called 'off-target' activities of drugs. Such interactions are a main cause of adverse side effects to drugs and are normally classified as predictable type A reactions. Detailed analysis of drug-induced immune reactions revealed that off-target activities also affect immune receptors, such as highly polymorphic human leukocyte antigens (HLA) or T cell receptors (TCR). Such drug interactions with immune receptors may lead to T cell stimulation, resulting in clinical symptoms of delayed-type hypersensitivity. They are assigned the 'pharmacological interaction with immune receptors' (p-i) concept. Analysis of p-i has revealed that drugs bind preferentially or exclusively to distinct HLA molecules (p-i HLA) or to distinct TCR (p-i TCR). P-i reactions differ from 'conventional' off-target drug reactions as the outcome is not due to the effect on the drug-modified cells themselves, but is the consequence of reactive T cells. Hence, the complex and diverse clinical manifestations of delayed-type hypersensitivity are caused by the functional heterogeneity of T cells. In the abacavir model of p-i HLA, the drug binding to HLA may result in alteration of the presenting peptides. More importantly, the drug binding to HLA generates a drug-modified HLA, which stimulates T cells directly, like an allo-HLA. In the sulfamethoxazole model of p-i TCR, responsive T cells likely require costimulation for full T cell activation. These findings may explain the similarity of delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions to graft-versus-host disease, and how systemic viral infections increase the risk of delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Pichler W.J.,ADR AC GmbH | Pichler W.J.,University of Bern | Watkins S.,ADR AC GmbH | Watkins S.,University of Bern
Current Immunology Reviews | Year: 2014

Drugs may stimulate the immune system by forming stable new antigenic complexes consisting of the drug or drug metabolite which is covalently bound to a protein or peptide (hapten-carrier complex). Both, B- and T-cell immunity may arise, the latter directed to hapten modified peptides presented by HLA molecules. Beside this immunological stimulation, drugs can also stimulate the immune system through binding by non-covalent bonds to proteins like immune receptors. This so-called “pharmacological interaction with immune receptors” concept (“p-i concept”) may occur with HLA or TCR molecules themselves (p-i HLA or p-i TCR), and not the immunogenic peptide. It is a type of “off-target” activity of the drug on immune receptors, but more complex as various cell types, cell interactions and functionally different T cells are involved. In this review the conditions which lead to activation of T cells by p-i are discussed: important factors for a functional consequence of drug binding is the location of binding (p-i HLA or p-i TCR); the exact site within these immune receptors; the affinity of binding and the finding that p-i HLA can stimulate the immune system like an allo-allele. The p-i concept is able to solve some puzzles of drug hypersensitivity reactions and are a basis to better treat and potentially avoid drug hypersensitivity reactions. Moreover, the p-i concept shows that in contrast to previous beliefs small molecules do interact with immune receptors with functional consequence. But these interactions are not based on “immune recognition”, are at odds with some immunological concepts, but may nevertheless open new possibilities to understand and even treat immune reactions. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

Srinoulprasert Y.,Mahidol University | Srinoulprasert Y.,University of Bern | Srinoulprasert Y.,ADR AC GmbH | Pichler W.J.,University of Bern | Pichler W.J.,ADR AC GmbH
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology | Year: 2014

Background: The lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) is used for in vitro diagnosis of drug hypersensitivity reactions. While its specificity is over 90%, sensitivity is limited and depends on the type of reaction, drug and possibly time interval between the event and analysis. Removal of regulatory T cells (Treg/CD25hi) from in vitro stimulated cell cultures was previously reported to be a promising method to increase the sensitivity of proliferation tests. Objective: The aim of this investigation is to evaluate the effect of removal of regulatory T cells on the sensitivity of the LTT. Methods: Patients with well-documented drug hypersensitivity were recruited. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, isolated CD3+ and CD3+ T cells depleted of the CD25hi fraction were used as effector cells in the LTT. Irrelevant drugs were also included to determine specificity. 3H-thymidine incorporation was utilized as the detection system and results were expressed as a stimulation index (SI). Results: SIs of 7/11 LTTs were reduced after a mean time interval of 10.5 months (LTT 1 vs. LTT 2). Removal of the CD25hi fraction, which was FOXP3+ and had a suppressive effect on drug-induced proliferation, resulted in an increased response to the relevant drugs. Sensitivity was increased from 25 to 82.35% with dramatically enhanced SI (2.05 to 6.02). Specificity was not affected. Conclusion: Removal of Treg/CD25hi cells can increase the frequency and strengths of drug-specific proliferation without affecting specificity. This approach might be useful in certain drug hypersensitivity reactions with borderline responses or long time interval since the hypersensitivity reaction. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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