Scientific publications

Pollensomes as Natural Vehicles for Pollen Allergens

Jun 3, 2015 | Magazine: Journal of Immunology

Prado N(1), De Linares C(2), Sanz ML(3), Gamboa P(4), Villalba M(1), Rodríguez R(1), Batanero E(5).


Olive (Olea europaea) pollen constitutes one of the most important allergen sources in the Mediterranean countries and some areas of the United States, South Africa, and Australia. Recently, we provided evidence that olive pollen releases nanovesicles of respirable size, named generically pollensomes, during in vitro germination.Olive pollensomes contain allergens, such as Ole e 1, Ole e 11, and Ole e 12, suggesting a possible role in allergy.

The aim of this study was to assess the contribution of pollensomes to the allergic reaction. We show that pollensomes exhibit allergenic activity in terms of patients' IgE-binding capacity, human basophil activation, and positive skin reaction in sensitized patients. Furthermore, allergen-containing pollensomes have been isolated from three clinically relevant nonphylogenetically related species: birch (Betula verrucosa), pine (Pinus sylvestris), and ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Most interesting, pollensomes were isolated from aerobiological samples collected with an eight-stage cascade impactor collector, indicating that pollensomes secretion is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

Our findings indicate that pollensomes may represent widespread vehicles for pollen allergens, with potential implications in the allergic reaction. 

CITATION  J Immunol. 2015 Jun 3. pii: 1500452.