To clarify the mechanism of immunotherapy in bronchial asthma, the level of mite specific IgG subclass asntibodies (total IgG, IgG(1), IgG(4)) and the production of leukotrienes (LTB(4), LTC(4)) released from leukocytes were examined. Eighteen mite-sensitive asthmatic patiens who received immunotherapy with house dust extract for 1 year were dividel into two groups, the responsive patients and non-responsive patients. Before treatment and 1 year after treatment, the levels of mite specific serum IgG subclass antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the levels of LTs were measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In the responsive group, the level of mite specific serum IgG(4) antibody was significantly increased (p<0.05), and the level of mite specific serum total IgG and IgG(1) antibody was decreased. The release of LTB(4) and LTC(4) from leukocytes stimulated by mite antigen was significantly decreased (p<0.05,p<0.05).
These results indicate that increases in the antigen specific IgG(4) and the inhibiton of chemical madiators play important roles in the mechanism of immunotherapy.