Project 10

Barbara Bohle, Dept. of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna.

Project 10: The immunological basis of clinical tolerance to allergens.

Barbara Bohle has a long-lasting experience in cellular allergology and her work has been awarded with highly renowned Austrian and international prizes (e.g., International Phadia Award, WAO Henning Lowenstein Award). Within the SFB she plans to investigate the mechanisms underlying tolerance to allergens and to develop novel vaccines for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). One major goal of her project is to elucidate the immune mechanism(s) that are relevant for clinical tolerance. Birch pollen-related food allergy will serve as disease model to compare allergen-specific antibody and T cell responses of food-reactive and food-tolerant birch pollen-allergic and non-allergic individuals, respectively. On the long term, allergen-specific humoral and cellular responses in patients who respond to birch pollen-SIT versus SIT-non-responders will be analysed. Moreover, responders/non-responders to SIT with house dust mite extract will be included to additionally address a perennial allergen source containing more than one major allergen. By comparing the allergen-specific immune response of allergic versus tolerant individuals and SIT-responders versus SIT-non-responders, respectively, the immune mechanisms important for clinical tolerance to allergens will be elucidated.
Another major goal of her project is the development of efficient vaccines for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) of food allergy. Recent studies have proposed SLIT to be a safe approach for the treatment of food allergy. To increase the efficacy of SLIT Bohle will develop recombinant fusion proteins consisting of the disease-eliciting food allergens and bacterial proteins that show immunostimulatory effects on mucosal cells and promote the induction of Th1-like responses and regulatory T cells. Such “self-adjuvanted” allergens shall combine immunomodulating capacity with reduced allergenicity. The planned in vitro analysis of the interaction of allergen and allergen-modulator fusion proteins with mucosal tissue will provide insights into the mechanisms of tolerance induction via the sublingual route. A successful proof of concept of “self-adjuvanted” allergens as vaccines for SLIT of birch pollen-related food allergy will be applicable for SLIT other food allergies, e.g. cow´s milk or peanut.


BohleBarbara Bohle, PhD
Univ. Professor for Cellular Allergology
Head of the Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research,
Head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Immunomodulation

Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research
Center of Pathophysiology, Infectiology & Immunology
Medical University of Vienna

Waehringer Guertel 18-20
A-1090 Vienna, Austria

Phone +43-1-40400-51140
Fax +43-1-40400-61880
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Geroldinger-Simic, M., T. Kinaciyan, B. Nagl, U. Baumgartner-Durchschlag, H. Huber, C. Ebner, J. Lidholm, D. Bartel, S. Vieths, B. Jahn-Schmid, and B. Bohle. 2013. Oral exposure to Mal d 1 affects the immune response in patients with birch pollen allergy. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 131: 94-102.

Kitzmuller, C., B. Nagl, S. Deifl, C. Walterskirchen, B. Jahn-Schmid, G. J. Zlabinger, and B. Bohle. 2012. Human blood basophils do not act as antigen-presenting cells for the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1. Allergy. 67: 593-600.

Kitzmuller, C., M. Wallner, S. Deifl, S. Mutschlechner, C. Walterskirchen, G. J. Zlabinger, F. Ferreira, and B. Bohle. 2012. A hypoallergenic variant of the major birch pollen allergen shows distinct characteristics in antigen processing and T-cell activation. Allergy. 67: 1375-1382.

Geroldinger-Simic, M., T. Zelniker, W. Aberer, C. Ebner, C. Egger, A. Greiderer, N. Prem, J. Lidholm, B. K. Ballmer-Weber, S. Vieths, and B. Bohle. 2011. Birch pollen-related food allergy: clinical aspects and the role of allergen-specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 127: 616-622 e611.

Jahn-Schmid, B., M. Hauser, N. Wopfner, P. Briza, U. E. Berger, R. Asero, C. Ebner, F. Ferreira, and B. Bohle. 2012. Humoral and cellular cross-reactivity between Amb a 1, the major ragweed pollen allergen, and its mugwort homolog Art v 6. J. Immunol. 188: 1559-1567.