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Allergenic potential of two species of Poaceae: Panicum maximum Jacq and Sacciolepis africana C.E. Hubb pollen protein in albino mice

Author Affiliations

  • 1Palynology Unit, Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria
  • 2Palynology Unit, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Nigeria
  • 3Clinical Pathology Department, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research,Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (10), Pages 1-5, October,22 (2017)


Pollen grains are the major cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis which affect millions of people worldwide. The presence of protein and glycoprotein content of their sporoderm and cytoplasm cause allergic sensitization in hypersensitive individuals. Immune system overreact by producing immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies which travel to cells that release allergic mediators causing allergic reactions. The objectives of this study were to; determine the concentration of pollen protein in two species of Poaceae: Panicum maximum and Sacciolepis africana, evaluate the level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies and immune cells of mice elicited by both pollen proteins. Pollen protein were extracted in 100 ml of 0.02 M of phosphate buffered saline (PBS) at pH 7.4 and protein content assayed. Albino mice were sensitized by two subcutaneous and one intranasal injections weekly for four weeks. Blood samples were obtained by retro-orbital bleedings, sera obtained were used for IgE evaluation by immuno assay. The result revealed a pollen protein contents of 420.27 g/ml and 278.37 g/ml in Panicum maximum and Sacciolepis africana respectively. Pollen protein of Panicum maximum induced a progressive change in the level of specific IgE in mice, after second sensitization. Both pollen proteins caused infiltration of basophil after first sensitization in albino mice. The result suggested that pollen which are dispersed from Panicum maximum and Sacciolepis africana are potential agents in inducing allergenic reaction. It also showed that Sacciolepis africana pollen protein are more potent than those of Panicum maximum. The research is the first study on pollen protein allergenicity in Nigeria.


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