Theranostics 2019; 9(3):829-836. doi:10.7150/thno.29902

Research Paper

On the Lipophilic Nature of Autoreactive IgE in Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria

Elisa Lakin, Martin K. Church, Marcus Maurer, Oliver Schmetzer

Dept. of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany


Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a skin disease related to autoreactive IgE in at least a subgroup of patients. However, the nature of this autoreactive IgE remains poorly characterized. This investigation had three objectives: first, to quantity CSU autoreactive IgE; second, to recognize the patterns of CSU autoreactive IgE compared with healthy control IgE; and third, to investigate the physiochemical nature of CSU autoreactive IgE.

Methods: IgE autoreactivity was assessed in sera from 7 CSU and 7 healthy individuals. Autoantigen recognition patterns were assessed using principal component analysis (PCA) and heatmap visualization. Lipophilicity was assessed using NanoOrange reagent.

Results: First, although total IgE levels did not differ significantly, the autoreactive proportion of IgE of CSU patients was 62% ± 37%, 1000-fold higher than that of healthy controls 0.03% ± 0.008% (P = 0.0006). Second, CSU autoreactive IgE differed from healthy control IgE by recognizing more and different autoantigens (226 vs. 34; P = 0.01). Third, the median (with 10-90% percentiles) serum level of lipophilic IgE was 39% (38-40%) in 232 CSU patients, 1.4-fold higher than the 28% (26-29%) of 173 healthy controls (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, lipophilicity correlated with autoreactivity (r = 0.8; P < 0.0001), connecting these two observed features.

Conclusion: We believe that these novel observations about CSU autoreactive IgE, particularly the finding that it is more lipophilic than that of IgE from healthy individuals, will lead to the development of new diagnostic tests and therapies for autoreactive IgE-mediated diseases.

Keywords: chronic spontaneous urticaria, IgE, autoreactivity, lipophilicity

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How to cite this article:
Lakin E, Church MK, Maurer M, Schmetzer O. On the Lipophilic Nature of Autoreactive IgE in Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria. Theranostics 2019; 9(3):829-836. doi:10.7150/thno.29902. Available from